Michigan Man Charged with Sexual Exploitation of Minor in Central Illinois
Springfield, Ill. – Jim Lewis, U.S. Attorney for the Central District of Illinois, announced today that a federal grand jury in Springfield has returned an indictment that charges Damian N. Delacruz, 23, of Cadillac, Mich., with three counts of sexual exploitation of a minor and one count of enticement of a minor.
The indictment, returned Sept. 7, alleges that on three occasions, Feb. 25, 2016; Feb. 28, 2016, and Mar. 14, 2016, Delacruz used and coerced a minor in central Illinois to engage in sexually explicit conduct for the purpose of producing visual images of said conduct. The indictment further alleges that from Feb. 19 to Mar. 16, 2016, Delacruz used the internet and a cellular phone to attempt to entice a minor to engage in sexual activity for which a person can be criminally charged under Illinois law.
If convicted, the statutory penalty for each count of sexual exploitation of a minor is a minimum 15 years in prison and up to 30 years in prison plus a fine of up to $250,000. The penalty for enticement of a minor is a minimum 10 years and up to life in prison, plus a fine up to $250,000. Delacruz may also be sentenced to a term of supervised release up to life following any prison sentence.
Delacruz was arrested on Aug. 23, 2016, in Cadillac, Mich., by special agents of U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement Homeland Security Investigation. Delacruz will appear in federal court in Springfield at a later date.
The case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Victor Yanz. The charges are the result of an investigation by the Chatham Police Department and U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement Homeland Security Investigation.
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.