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Justice News

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

Thursday, April 13, 2017

Pike County Man Sentenced to 33 Years in Prison for Transportation of a Minor with Intent to Engage in Illegal Sexual Activity

Springfield, Ill. - Senior U.S. District Judge Richard Mills today ordered a New Canton, Ill., man, Ralph David Hathaway, 48, to serve 400 months (33 years, 4 months) in federal prison for transporting a minor with the intent to engage in illegal sexual activity and two counts of travel with intent to engage in illicit sexual conduct. Hathaway was also ordered to pay $4,489 in restitution. Following Hathaway’s release from prison, he was ordered to remain on supervised release for five years.


A jury convicted Hathaway of all counts against him in September 2016. During the weeklong trial, the government presented evidence that over a two-year period, beginning in 2013, Hathaway traveled on several occasions from his home in Pike County, Illinois to South Carolina to have illegal sexual activity with a 13-year-old girl whom Hathaway had met online. In June 2015, Hathaway transported the girl from South Carolina to his camper located in Troy, Mo., where Hathaway was arrested. Hathaway has remained in the custody of the U.S. Marshals Service since his arrest.


The investigation was conducted by the FBI, 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. Assistant U.S. Attorneys Victor Yanz and Gregory M. Gilmore represented the government in the prosecution.


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.

Project Safe Childhood
Updated April 13, 2017