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Press Release

Mattoon Sex Offender Sentenced to Over 38 Years in Prison for Child Enticement and Sex Trafficking Crimes

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

URBANA, Ill. – A Mattoon, Illinois, man, Christopher Ohm, 35, of the 2500 block of Moultrie Ave., was sentenced today to 458 months’ (38 years and two months) imprisonment for enticement of a minor, sex trafficking of a minor, and receipt and possession of child pornography.

According to court documents, law enforcement identified Ohm after he met with a 13-year-old minor through a popular dating application, Grindr. Ohm arranged to meet the minor for sexual activity at an abandoned railroad track in Janesville, Illinois, and offered the minor money if the minor agreed. The minor escaped from Ohm’s vehicle, and Ohm was arrested shortly afterwards when he tried to meet the minor again at a cemetery. When law enforcement reviewed the contents of Ohm’s phone, they learned that Ohm tried to meet another minor, a 15-year-old, in a park in Bloomington, Illinois, in July 2020, also using Grindr. In addition, law enforcement found a tablet that Ohm discarded at the cemetery where he was arrested that contained thousands of images and videos of child pornography.

Ohm was previously convicted of transportation of child pornography and in September 2012, was sentenced to serve almost 10 years in prison. Ohm was released from the Bureau of Prisons in September 2019, and was serving a term of supervised release when he was arrested by Cumberland County officials in September 2020 in relation to the instant offense.

A federal grand jury charged Ohm with one count of enticement of a minor, one count of sex trafficking of a minor, and one count of commission of a sex offense as a registered sex offender in November 2020, and Ohm was transferred to the custody of the U.S. Marshals service, where he has remained.  In January 2021, the federal grand jury added counts involving the second minor and the child pornography materials located on Ohm’s tablet. The grand jury returned a superseding indictment charging Ohm with one count of enticement of a minor, one count of receipt of child pornography, and one count of possession of child pornography. Ohm pleaded guilty in October 2021 to the seven-count superseding indictment.

Senior U.S. District Judge Michael Mihm emphasized his concern that the public be protected from from Ohm, calling him “a dangerous person.” Judge Mihm sentenced Ohm to 36 years and eight months’ imprisonment, for the 2020 offenses, and a consecutive 18 months’ imprisonment for violating the terms of his supervised release. Following his release from the Bureau of Prisons, Ohm will serve the remainder of his natural life term on supervised release.

“HSI will continue to do everything it can to protect the most vulnerable members of our community,” said HSI Chicago Special Agent in Charge Angie Salazar. “Ohm’s reprehensible actions underscore the importance of talking with our children about the dangers they could encounter online.”

“Offenders who repeatedly victimize children have shown by their actions that are unwilling or unable to conform to the bounds of the law, and today’s sentence reflects the need to remove dangerous child sex offenders from the community,” said Assistant U.S. Attorney Elly M. Peirson. “We appreciate the swift attention that our law partners gave to the investigation of this recidivist offender.

U.S Immigration and Customs Enforcement Homeland Security Investigations and the Cumberland County Sherriff’s Office conducted the investigation. Assistant U.S. Attorney Elly Peirson represented the government in this prosecution.

The case 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.

Updated April 11, 2022

Topics
Project Safe Childhood