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Justice News

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

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Tuesday, September 28, 2021

Washington Man Sentenced to 120 Months in Prison for Attempted Enticement of a Child to Engage in Sexual Activity

PEORIA, Ill. – On September 21, 2021, United States District Court Judge James E. Shadid sentenced Thomas R. Alt, 28, of Washington, Ill., to 120 months of imprisonment, to be followed by 15 years of supervised release, for Attempted Enticement of a Child to Engage in Sexual Activity.

Alt was found guilty on May 5, 2021, following a jury trial, in which the United States presented evidence to establish that Alt used the mobile application Grindr to arrange to meet a person he believed to be a 15-year-old minor for sexual activity.

The Federal Bureau of Investigation, Springfield Division, Illinois State Police, Peoria County Sheriff’s Office, and the Peoria Metropolitan Enforcement Group (MEG) investigated the case. Assistant U.S. Attorneys Paul Morris and Keith Hollingshead-Cook represented the government in the prosecution.

“The district-wide ongoing operation to investigate, arrest, and prosecute individuals who use modern communication technology to solicit sex with people they believe to be children has been a tremendous success,” said Acting United States Attorney Doug Quivey. “We will continue to work closely with the FBI and our other law enforcement partners to identify and prosecute those who intend to sexually harm children.”    

“A child’s vulnerability to sexual exploitation is magnified over the internet,” said FBI Special Agent in Charge David Nanz. “Today’s sentencing effectively ends Alt’s ability to sexually exploit children and underscores the FBI’s commitment to keep our children safe by going after those who seek to exploit their innocence online. The FBI, along with our law enforcement partners, will aggressively investigate where persons prey on our children.”

The case against Alt 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), Project Safe Childhood marshals 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 September 28, 2021