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Press Release

Geneseo Man Charged with Five Counts of Sexual Exploitation of a Child

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, Central District of Illinois

ROCK ISLAND, Ill. – An initial trial date of Sept. 23, 2019, has been scheduled for a Geneseo, Ill., man, Tristan Scott Blank, 22, who has been arrested and indicted on federal child sexual exploitation charges.

The indictment alleges that between April 2016 and August 2018, Blank employed, used, persuaded, induced, enticed, and coerced five minors to engage in sexually explicit conduct to produce images of such conduct and transmit the images in interstate commerce.

If convicted, the statutory maximum penalty for each count of sexual exploitation is 30 years in prison. Each of the five counts includes a fine of up to $250,000.

On July 22, 2019, Blank was arrested and made his initial court appearance. Blank was arraigned in Davenport, Iowa on July 24, before Chief U.S. District Court Judge Sara Darrow, when the September trial date was scheduled and Blank was ordered to remain in the custody of the U.S. Marshals Service.

The case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Alyssa A. Raya. The charges are the result of an investigation by the Geneseo Police Department, the Illinois State Police, the Henry County Sheriff’s Office, the Colona Police Department, the Kewanee Police Department, and the U.S. Secret Service.

Members of the public are reminded that an indictment is merely an accusation; the defendant is presumed innocent unless proven guilty.

The 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

Updated July 25, 2019

Project Safe Childhood