Grand Island Man Sentenced to 52 Years for Conspiracy to Produce Child Pornography and Production of Child Pornography
United States Attorney Jan Sharp announced that Shaquille A. Thornhill, 28, formerly of Brooklyn, New York, was sentenced today for attempted coercion and enticement of a minor to engage in sexual activity. United States District Judge Brian C. Buescher sentenced Thornhill to 10 years in prison. There is no parole in the federal system. After his release from prison, Thornhill will begin a five-year term of supervised release.
On April 15, 2021, Thornhill responded to an online advertisement on skipthegames.com offering sex in exchange for money. The ad was posted by law enforcement officers. Between April 15, 2021, and May 11, 2021, Thornhill engaged in text messaging conversations and phone calls with undercover law enforcement. Thornhill was seeking to pay for sex. The undercover agent interacting with Thornhill stated she was 15 years old, and Thornhill recognized that the female (who was an undercover agent) was purportedly 15 years old.
On May 11, 2021, Thornhill agreed with the undercover agent (who he believed to be a 15-year-old female) to meet at a hotel in Omaha, Nebraska, to have sex. Thornhill arrived at the designated hotel room to meet with who he believed to be the 15-year-old female. When officers answered the door of the hotel room, Thornhill ran away. After a foot pursuit, Thornhill was detained. Thornhill had on his possession the $200.00 cash he brought to pay for sex, the phone he used to communicate with the female he believed to be 15 years old, a 3-pack of condoms, and an orange Gatorade that he had agreed to provide to the female. Thornhill admitted to officers that he had agreed to pay $200 for sex with the female he believed to be 15 years old.
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 Department of Justice. Led by United States Attorney’s Offices and the Criminal Division's 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 Omaha FBI's Child Exploitation and Human Trafficking Task Force.