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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
Northern District of Iowa

Tuesday, June 9, 2015

Marion Couple Pleads Guilty to Enticement of a Minor

A husband and wife who enticed a minor to engage in criminal sexual activity pled guilty in federal court in Cedar Rapids.

Michael Darling, age 20, and Jennifer Darling, age 27, both of Marion, Iowa, were convicted of one count of enticement of a minor.

At a plea hearing on June 4, 2015, Michael Darling admitted that, between January and March 2015, he persuaded, induced, or enticed a 15-year-old girl to engage in sexual activity.  At a plea hearing on June 8, 2015, Jennifer Darling admitted that, during the same time period, she persuaded, induced, or enticed the same girl to engage in sexual activity.

Sentencings before United States District Court Chief Judge Linda R. Reade will be set after presentence reports are prepared.  Jennifer Darling was taken into custody of the United States Marshal after her guilty plea; both she and Michael Darling will remain in custody pending sentencing.  Each defendant faces a mandatory minimum sentence of 10 years’ imprisonment and a possible maximum sentence of life imprisonment, a $250,000 fine, a $100 special assessment, and supervised release for 5 years to life following imprisonment.

This case is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Mark Tremmel and was investigated by the Iowa Division of Criminal Investigation and the Jones County Sheriff’s Office.

This case was brought as part of Project Safe Childhood, a nationwide initiative launched in May 2006 by the Department of Justice to combat the growing epidemic of child sexual exploitation and abuse.  Led by the United States Attorneys’ Offices and the Criminal Division’s Child Exploitation and Obscenity Section, Project Safe Childhood marshals federal, state, and local resources to locate, apprehend, and prosecute individuals who sexually exploit children, and to identify and rescue victims.  For more information about Project Safe Childhood, please visit www.usdoj.gov/psc.  For more information about Internet safety education, please visit www.usdoj.gov/psc and click on the tab “resources.”

Court file information is available at https://ecf.iand.uscourts.gov/cgi-bin/login.pl.  The case file number is CR 15-39.

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Updated June 9, 2015