PEORIA, Ill. – Auston McLain, 38, of Davenport, Iowa, was sentenced today to ten years’ imprisonment, to be followed by ten years of supervised release, following his June 2023 conviction by a federal jury for attempted enticement of a minor and travelling with the intent to engage in illicit sexual activity.
Over two days of trial before Chief U.S. District Judge Sarah Darrow, the United States presented evidence establishing that from November 10, 2020, through November 14, 2020 McLain communicated with an individual he believed to be a minor about engaging in sexual activity, sent pornographic pictures to that person, asked for pictures in return, and then traveled from Iowa to Illinois with the intent to meet with the child and engage in sexual activity.
At the sentencing hearing, Chief Judge Darrow found that McLain obstructed justice during the trial when he falsely testified about a variety of material issues.
McLain faced statutory penalties of ten years to life imprisonment, a possible fine of $250,000, and up to a five-year to life term of supervised release for attempted enticement. He faced up to thirty years’ imprisonment, a possible $250,000 fine, and a five-year to life term of supervised release for travelling with the intent to engage in illicit sexual activity. McLain also must register as a sex offender. McLain was initially released on bond and has been in the custody of the U.S. Marshals Service since March 2023.
The prosecution was the result of an investigation by the Federal Bureau of Investigation, Springfield Field Office, with the assistance of the Rock Island Police Department, the Macomb Police Department, the East Moline Police Department, and the Illinois State Police. Assistant U.S. Attorneys Tanner Jacobs and Matthew Weir represented the United States.
The case against McLain was brought as part of Project Safe Childhood, a nationwide initiative by the Department of Justice to combat the epidemic of child sexual exploitation and abuse. 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.