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Justice News

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

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Friday, December 19, 2014

Decatur Man Sentenced To 20 Years In Prison for Sexual Exploitation Of A Child,enticement Of A Minor And Making Interstate Threats

 

Springfield, Ill. – A Decatur, Ill., man, Jason E. Cooper, 34, of the 4800 block of Martin Luther King, Jr. Drive, has been ordered to serve 20 years in federal prison for sexual exploitation of a minor, enticement of a minor, and making interstate threats, as announced by U.S. Attorney Jim Lewis, Central District of Illinois.  U.S. District Judge Sue E. Myerscough sentenced Cooper in federal court in Springfield, Ill. on December 18, 2014.  Cooper was ordered to serve 15 years of supervised release following his term of imprisonment, and to register as a sexual predator for the period of his natural life. Cooper was also ordered to forfeit computer material seized as evidence. 

Cooper pled guilty on May 8, 2014, to one count each of enticement of a minor, making interstate threats, and sexual exploitation of a minor.  According to the factual basis presented by the government at Cooper’s change of plea hearing, in 2013, Cooper used social media and game sites to initiate contact with two different minor females. Cooper then sent graphic sexual texts and emails and threats of violence to the minors and their families if his demands for information and photos of graphic sexual activity were ignored.

Cooper was indicted by a grand jury in April 2013, following his arrest. Cooper has remained in the custody of the U.S. Marshals Service since his arrest.

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.

The case was prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Elly Peirson.  The charges were investigated by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement Homeland Security Investigations and the Decatur Police Department.

Updated June 23, 2015