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Justice News

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

Friday, April 17, 2015

Tennessee Sex Offender Sentenced To 25 Years In Prison For Enticement Of A Minor And Travel With Intent To Engage In Illicit Sexual Conduct

Springfield, Ill.  – A repeat child sex offender, Joseph Cain Harrison, 38, of Nashville, Tenn., was sentenced to 25 years (300 months) in prison today for enticement of a minor and two counts of travel with the intent to engage in illicit sexual conduct, announced U.S. Attorney Jim Lewis, Central District of Illinois.  U.S. District Judge Sue E. Myerscough sentenced Harrison in federal court in Springfield, Ill. 

Harrison was convicted on December 5, 2014, of one count of enticement of a minor,  two counts of travel with the intent to engage in illicit sexual conduct, and committing a felony sex offense on a minor while a registered sex offender.  During Harrison’s three day trial held in Urbana, Ill., the government presented evidence that between July 1, 2011, to Jan. 20, 2012, Harrison used the Internet and a cellular telephone to entice an individual whom he believed to be 13 years of age to engage in sexual activity. The jury also heard evidence that Harrison traveled from Nashville, Tenn., to Champaign, Ill., on two occasions, Jan. 13, 2012, and Jan. 17, 2012, for the purpose of engaging in any illicit sexual conduct with a minor.

Harrison was indicted by a grand jury in March 2012, following his arrest in the Middle District of Tennessee on January 20, 2012.  Harrison has remained in the custody of the U.S. Marshals Service since his arrest.

The charges are the result of an investigation by the U.S. Secret Service, Springfield, Ill., and Nashville, Tenn., divisions; the Champaign Police Department; and the Nashville Metropolitan Police Department Sex Crimes Unit.  The case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Elly Peirson with the cooperation of Champaign County State=s Attorney Julia Rietz.

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

Updated June 22, 2015