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Press Release

St. Louis Man Sentenced to 12 Years In Prison For Enticing Illinois Minor, Traveling to Engage in Illicit Sexual Conduct

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

Belleville,  Ill.  –  Earlier  today,  Joseph  L.  Hughes,  a/k/a  “Joe  King,”  29,  of  St. 
Louis, Missouri, was sentenced to 149 months in prison for enticing a 14-year old girl to engage in
sex and traveling across state lines to have sex with her. Hughes committed the offenses in late
2018 and pled guilty to the three-count federal indictment in October 2020.
According  to  court  filings,  Hughes  and  the  minor  victim  used  Facebook  Messenger  to
communicate. Hughes later traveled from St. Louis to the girl’s home in Belleville, Illinois, to
have sex with her on Nov. 24, 2018, and Dec. 8, 2018. As part of his guilty plea, Hughes admitted
that the victim told him her age right away, and that he knew what he did was against the law.

Hughes’s sentence includes a five-year term of supervised release and a $300 fine.

The  case  was  investigated  by  the  FBI,  the  Belleville  Police  Department,  the  St.  Clair
County Sheriff’s Department, and the St. Louis County Police Department, with assistance from the 
St.  Clair  County  States  Attorney’s  Office.  Assistant  United  States  Attorney  Angela  Scott
prosecuted the case.

Updated October 4, 2021