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Press Release

Freeport Man Sentenced to 17 Years in Federal Prison for Sexual Exploitation of Minors He Met Online

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, Northern District of Illinois

ROCKFORD — A Freeport, Ill. resident was sentenced today to 17 years in federal prison for traveling to Iowa to engage in sexual conduct with a minor he met online.

ERICH BRINKMEIER, 27, pleaded guilty earlier this year to one count of traveling in interstate commerce for the purpose of engaging in illicit sexual conduct with a minor and one count of commission by a registered sex offender of a felony offense involving a minor.  U.S. District Judge Philip G. Reinhard in Rockford ordered that the prison term be followed by a lifetime of court-supervised release.

The sentence was announced by John R. Lausch, Jr., United States Attorney for the Northern District of Illinois; and Ashley T. Johnson, Acting Special Agent-in-Charge of the Chicago Field Office of the FBI.  The Freeport Police Department assisted in the investigation.  The government was represented by Assistant U.S. Attorney Jessica S. Maveus.

Brinkmeier admitted in a plea agreement that in October 2019 he traveled from Illinois to Iowa to engage in sexual conduct with a 14-year-old minor he met online.  Brinkmeier was a registered sex offender and was required under Illinois law to comply with the Illinois Sex Offender Registry.

Brinkmeier also admitted to contacting another minor victim online and coercing her to send Brinkmeier sexually explicit images of herself.

Updated September 9, 2022

Violent Crime