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Justice News

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

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Thursday, March 10, 2022

Moline Man Pleads Guilty to Attempting to Meet a Minor for Sex and Soliciting Obscene Photos of a Minor

ROCK ISLAND, Ill. – A Moline, Illinois, man, Mark Eugene Downing, 44, of the 1200 Block of 15th Street, pleaded guilty on March 9, 2022, to attempted enticement of a minor and soliciting an obscene visual depiction of a minor. Sentencing for Downing has been scheduled for July 19, 2022, at the U.S. Courthouse in Davenport, Iowa.

In court before Chief U.S. District Judge Darrow, Downing admitted that he planned to engage in sexual activity with an eleven-year-old child and had solicited nude photos of the child. During the hearing, the government stated that Downing was arrested after he attempted to meet the child for sexual activity while in possession of methamphetamine and alcohol. Downing had previously solicited nude photos and videos of the minor through the internet.

Downing remains in the custody of the U.S. Marshals Service pending sentencing.

Downing faces a mandatory minimum term of 10 years and up to life imprisonment, at least five years and up to a life term of supervised release, and up to a $500,000 fine.

The case was investigated by the Moline Police Department and the Federal Bureau of Investigation and arose via a tip from the Crime Stoppers of the Quad Cities. Assistant U.S. Attorney Jennifer Mathew is representing the government in the prosecution.

The case was brought as part of Project Safe Childhood, a Department of Justice initiative led by U.S. Attorneys’ Offices and the Criminal Division’s Child Exploitation and Obscenity Section (CEOS), to marshal federal, state, and local resources to 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 March 10, 2022