Illinois Man Sentenced to 14 Years in Prison For Distributing Child Pornography
Defendant Sent Hundreds of Images and Videos of Child Sexual Abuse Material to Undercover Officer
WASHINGTON – Daniel Mahnke, 35, of Manteno, Illinois, was sentenced today to 168 months in prison, followed by 10 years of supervised release, for distribution of child pornography. The announcement was made by U.S. Attorney Matthew M. Graves and Acting Special Agent in Charge David Geist, of the FBI Washington Field Office’s Criminal and Cyber Division.
According to the government’s evidence, in December of 2020, the defendant was using the website Rapey.SU, a social media site where countless users discussed the sexual exploitation of children, bestiality, and hardcore child pornography. During the course of the investigation, Mahnke began communicating with an individual he believed had a child, but who turned out to be law enforcement acting in an undercover capacity (UC). Believing that he was communicating with a pedophile, Mahnke requested that the UC send him sexually explicit photos of the UC’s fictitious child. Mahnke told the UC that he would send child pornography and, in fact, sent the UC a link containing hundreds of videos and images of child pornography.
Mahnke was arrested on December 11, 2020, and charged with distribution of child pornography. He has been detained ever since. Mahnke pled guilty on January 6, 2023, in the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia.
This case was investigated by the FBI Washington Field Office’s Child Exploitation and Human Trafficking Task Force. The task force is composed of FBI agents, along with other federal agents and detectives from northern Virginia and the District of Columbia. The task force is charged with investigating and bringing federal charges against individuals engaged in the exploitation of children and those engaged in human trafficking.
In announcing the sentence, U.S. Attorney Graves and Acting Special Agent in Charge Geist commended the work of those who investigated the case from the FBI's Child Exploitation and Human Trafficking Task Force, which includes members of the FBI's Washington Field Office and the Metropolitan Police Department’s (MPD) Youth Investigations Division. They also commended the work of Assistant U.S. Attorney Caroline Burrell, who prosecuted the case.
This case was brought as part of the Department of Justice's Project Safe Childhood initiative. In February 2006, the Attorney General created Project Safe Childhood, a nationwide initiative designed to protect children from online exploitation and abuse. Led by the U.S. Attorney's Offices, 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 identify and rescue victims. For more information about Project Safe Childhood, please visit www.projectsafechildhood.gov.