Pike County, Ill., Man Convicted for Transportation of a Minor with Intent to Engage in Illegal Sexual Activity
Springfield, Ill. - A jury has convicted a New Canton, Ill., man, Ralph David Hathaway, 47, for transportation of a minor with the intent to engage in illegal sexual activity and two counts of travel with intent to engage in illicit sexual conduct. The jury deliberated for approximately one hour on Friday, Sept. 30, before returning the guilty verdicts on all counts. Senior U.S District Judge Richard Mills scheduled sentencing for Hathaway on Feb. 15, 2017.
At trial, which began on Monday, Sept. 26, the government presented evidence that over a two-year period, beginning in 2013, Hathaway traveled on several occasions from his home in Pike county to South Carolina to have illegal sexual activity with a 13-year-old girl whom Hathaway had met online. The jury also heard evidence that in June 2015, Hathaway transported the girl from South Carolina to his camper located in Troy, Missouri.
At sentencing, Hathaway faces statutory penalties of no less than 10 years in prison and up to life in prison. Hathaway has remained in the custody of the U.S. Marshals Service since he was arrested in July 2015 in Troy, Mo.
The charges are the result of an investigation by the Federal Bureau of Investigation, Springfield, Ill., San Francisco, Calif., Charleston, S.C., and St. Louis, Mo. divisions; the Pike County Illinois Sheriff’s Office; St. Charles County (Mo.) Cyber Crime Task Force; the Lincoln County (Mo.) Sheriff’s Office; Horry County (S.C.) Police Department; San Mateo (Calif.) Police Department; and Daly City (Calif.) Police Department. At trial, the government was represented by Assistant U.S. Attorneys Victor Yanz and Gregory M. Gilmore.
This 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.