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Press Release

Kentucky Man Gets 15 Years in Federal Prison for Attempting to Entice a Minor

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, Southern District of Illinois
Lauren Barry, Public Affairs Officer

BENTON, Ill. – A district judge in southern Illinois sentenced a man from Paducah to serve 15 years in federal prison after he admitted to attempting to entice a purported 11-year-old child.

Michael M. Gott, 62, pleaded guilty to one count of attempted enticement of a minor. In addition to the 15-year prison sentence, Gott will serve five years of supervised release.

“Those who try to sexually abuse children deserve justice in proportion to the deviance of their behavior, which in this case was a significant federal prison sentence,” said U.S. Attorney Rachelle Aud Crowe. “The United States Attorney’s Office and its law enforcement partners will continue to aggressively prosecute minor enticement cases and do all we can to protect children.”

In March 2021, an undercover agent with the FBI conducted an investigation on an online dating discussion forum to detect child predators. According to court documents, Gott began conversing with the undercover agent who was posing as the mother of a purported 11-year-old child. During the conversation, Gott made plans with the mother to engage in sexual conduct with the minor child.

“This sentence reflects the serious nature of Gott’s offense and demonstrates the FBI’s commitment to identify, investigate and arrest those intent on harming the most vulnerable members of our society,” said FBI Springfield Special Agent in Charge David Nanz. “The FBI will continue our efforts to thwart attempts to entice children, because every offender that lands in custody represents another step toward a safer community and a safer world for our children.”

Gott was arrested by agents while attempting to meet the purported pair and escort them to a hotel room he had rented in Paducah, Kentucky.

FBI Springfield Field Office led the investigation, and Assistant U.S. Attorneys Casey Bloodworth and David Sanders prosecuted the case.

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 U.S. Attorneys’ Offices and 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.

Updated December 21, 2023