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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
Central District of Illinois

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Monday, November 17, 2014

Christian County Man To Serve 12 Years In Prisonfor Sexual Exploitation Of A Minor

Springfield, Ill.  – U.S. District Judge Sue E. Myerscough today sentenced James Marshall Owens, 44, of Owaneco, Ill., to 12 years in federal prison for sexual exploitation of a minor. Owens, a former Taylorville school bus driver, was also ordered to remain on supervised release for 20 years following his term of imprisonment. Owens has remained in law enforcement custody since his arrest in May 2013.

On Feb. 24, 2014, Owens pled guilty to enticing individuals under the age of 18 to engage in sexual activity for which a person could be charged with a criminal offense.  The offenses were committed from August 2012 to May 2013 and from December 2012 to February 2013.

The charges were investigated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the Illinois State Police, and the Christian County Sheriff’s Office.  The case was prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Gregory K. Harris with the cooperation of the Christian County State’s Attorney’s Office. 

This case was brought as part of Project Safe Childhood, a nationwide initiative to combat the growing epidemic of child sexual exploitation and abuse launched in May 2006 by the Department of Justice.  Led by U.S. Attorneys= Offices and the Criminal Division=s Child Exploitation and Obscenity Section (CEOS), Project Safe Childhood marshals federal, state and local resources to better locate, apprehend and prosecute individuals who exploit children via the Internet as well as to identify and rescue victims.  For more information about Project Safe Childhood, please visit www.projectsafechildhood.gov.

Updated June 22, 2015