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Justice News

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

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Tuesday, October 24, 2017

Indiana Man Indicted on Charges of Sexual Exploitation of a Child, Travel with Intent to Engage in Illicit Sexual Conduct

URBANA, Ill. – A Crawfordsville, Ind., man, Nehemiah Lafoe, 23, appeared in federal court today in Urbana for arraignment on charges of sexual exploitation of a child and travel with intent to engage in illicit sexual conduct. Lafoe appeared before U.S. Magistrate Judge Eric I. Long who scheduled trial for Dec. 12, 2017.

 

The indictment, returned by the grand jury last week, alleges that on two occasions in June 2017, Lafoe enticed a minor to engage in sexually explicit conduct to produce an image of the conduct and to transmit the image in interstate commerce, including by computer. The indictment also alleges that on May 23, 2017, Lafoe traveled from Indiana to Illinois for the purpose of engaging in sexual acts with a minor under 18 years of age. According to the affidavit filed in support of a previously filed criminal complaint, Lafoe communicated with the minor through a popular social networking application.

 

If convicted, the statutory maximum penalty for each count of sexual exploitation (two counts) and travel with intent to engage in illicit sexual conduct (one count) is 30 years in prison, and a fine of up to $250,000.

 

Lafoe was arrested on Sept. 27, 2017, in the Southern District of Indiana after being charged in a criminal complaint filed in the Central District of Illinois. During a court appearance on Oct. 2, 2017, before Judge Long, in Urbana, Lafoe was ordered to remain detained in the custody of the U.S. Marshals Service.

 

The case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Elly M. Peirson. The charges are the result of an investigation by the Federal Bureau of Investigation; the Indiana State Police Cybercrime Unit; and the Indiana Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force.

 

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 www.projectsafechildhood.gov.

Topic(s): 
Project Safe Childhood
Updated October 24, 2017