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Press Release

Illinois Sex Offender Charged With Coercion And Enticement Of 15-Year-Old Girl In Dutchess County

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

Damian Williams, the United States Attorney for the Southern District of New York, and James Smith, the Assistant Director in Charge of the New York Field Office of the Federal Bureau of Investigation (“FBI”), announced today a Complaint charging DEREK HASSELBRINK, a/k/a “Derek Spear,” with enticing a minor to engage in unlawful sexual activity and committing this offense while being required to register as a sex offender.  HASSELBRINK was arrested this morning and was presented in federal court in the Central District of Illinois before U.S. Magistrate Judge Karen L. McNaught.

U.S. Attorney Damian Williams said: “As alleged, Derek Hasselbrink, a 48-year-old convicted sex offender, pretended to be a 17-year-old boy online in an effort to coerce and entice a 15-year-old girl to engage in sexual activity.  Hasselbrink allegedly knew that his victim was a minor, so he lied about his own age and took other measures to hide his unlawful intent.  This Office will continue to relentlessly pursue predators who sexually exploit children, whether online or in person.” 

FBI Assistant Director in Charge James Smith said: “Those who prey upon the innocence of children represent the dark and twisted side of the criminal underworld.  Derek Hasselbrink - having failed to register as a previously convicted sex offender - allegedly seduced and coerced a minor female to participate in illicit sexual activity through lewd and horrifyingly explicit messages.  Today's arrest emphasizes the FBI's intrepid vigilance to protecting one of our most vulnerable populations, especially from those who seek to exploit and harm them for perverse gratification.”

According to allegations contained in the Complaint:[1]  

From at least in or about April 2023 up to on or about July 2, 2023, HASSELBRINK, a 48-year-old male who was a convicted sex offender, engaged in sexually explicit message conversations with a 15-year-old girl (“Victim-1”) and traveled to meet Victim-1 near her home in Dutchess County, New York, to engage in sexual activity.

Any individuals with information concerning DEREK HASSELBRINK, a/k/a “Derek Spear,” or whose child may have had any communications with HASSELBRINK, are asked to contact the FBI at 1-800-CALL-FBI (225-5324) or

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HASSELBRINK, 48, of Quincy, Illinois, is charged with one count of enticing a minor to engage in unlawful sexual activity, which carries a mandatory minimum sentence of 10 years in prison and a maximum sentence of life in prison, and one count of engaging in this offense while being required to register as a sex offender, which carries a mandatory minimum sentence of 10 years in prison, which must run consecutively to any other sentence imposed. 

The minimum and maximum potential sentences in this case are prescribed by Congress and are provided here for informational purposes only, as any sentencing of the defendant will be determined by a judge.

Mr. Williams praised the investigative work of the FBI; the Dutchess County Sheriff’s Office; the Quincy, Illinois Police Department; the Adams County States Attorney’s Office; the Office of the Attorney General of Kentucky; the Springfield, Illinois Field Office of the FBI; and the Cleveland Division of the FBI, Canton Resident Agency’s Child Exploitation Task Force.

This case is being handled by the Office’s White Plains Division.  Assistant U.S. Attorneys Marcia Cohen and Kingdar Prussien are in charge of the prosecution.

The allegations in the Complaint are merely accusations, and the defendant is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty.

[1] As the introductory phrase signifies, the entirety of the text of the Complaint and the description of the Complaint set forth herein constitute only allegations, and every fact described should be treated as an allegation.


Nicholas Biase, Lauren Scarff, Shelby Wratchford
(212) 637-2600

Updated June 12, 2024

Press Release Number: 24-212