Rhinelander Man Indicted for Child Related Sex Crimes
Acting United States Attorney Richard G. Frohling of the Eastern District of Wisconsin announced that on May 25, 2021, a federal grand jury returned a three-count indictment against Paul S. Osterman (age 35) of Rhinelander, Wisconsin, charging him with crimes related to soliciting a 13-year-old Illinois girl on the MeetMe social media electronic application for commercial sex.
Count One alleges that from July 3 through July 5, 2019, Osterman solicited the child for sex in exchange for money, in violation of Title 18, United States Code, Sections 1591(a)(1), (b)(1), and (c). Count Two alleges that during these same dates, Osterman used a facility and means of interstate commerce (MeetMe) to persuade, induce, and entice the child to engage in illegal sexual activity, in violation of Title 18, United States Code, Section 2422(b). Count Three alleges that during these same dates, Osterman traveled in interstate commerce (from Wisconsin to Illinois) for the purpose of engaging in commercial sex with the child, in violation of Title 18, United States Code, Section 2423(b).
Counts One and Two each carry a maximum penalty of life in prison, while Count Three carries a maximum penalty of 30 years in prison. If convicted of Counts One and Two, Osterman would face a mandatory minimum sentence of 15 and 10 years respectively. All of the charges in the indictment carry additional possible penalties of up to a life term of supervised release following any term of imprisonment, and up to a $250,000 fine.
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 U.S. Department of Justice. Led by U.S. Attorneys’ Offices and the 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.
This case was investigated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation, Wisconsin Department of Justice’s Division of Criminal Investigation, and the Oneida County Sherriff’s Office. The case is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Abbey M. Marzick.
The public is cautioned that an indictment is merely a formal charge that a defendant has committed one or more violations of federal law, and every defendant is presumed innocent unless, and until, proven guilty.
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