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Press Release

Wisconsin Man Convicted Of Coercion Of A Minor

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, Western District of Michigan

          MARQUETTE, MICHIGAN — U.S. Attorney for the Western District of Michigan Mark Totten today announced that Todd Stafford, 59, of Bailey’s Harbor, Wisconsin, was convicted of three counts relating to sexual predation of a minor. A jury convicted Stafford of one count of coercion and enticement of a minor and two counts of interstate travel with intent to engage in illicit sexual conduct.                                        

          “Mr. Stafford preyed on minors,” said U.S. Attorney Mark Totten. “Today he was held accountable. Those who exploit children and think they can hide should think twice. Protecting our most vulnerable is, and will continue to be, a top priority for our office.” 

          The jury heard evidence that Stafford met the minor victim, who was under sixteen years of age, online. Stafford twice traveled from Wisconsin to Michigan hoping to engage in sex with the minor. Eventually the minor’s father found conversations and contacted law enforcement. The minor’s father and Iron Mountain Police Department took over communications with Stafford, posing as the minor and making arrangements to meet Stafford again. In late July 2023, Stafford again traveled to Michigan and proceeded to a park where he thought he was going to pick up the minor; law enforcement met him and arrested him.

          Stafford was indicted for coercion and enticement of a minor and interstate travel to engage in illicit sexual conduct. Coercion and enticement of a minor carries a mandatory minimum sentence of 10 years. Stafford faces a possible maximum sentence of life in prison.

          “The dangers our children face from online predators are very real and happening too often in our communities,” said Cheyvoryea Gibson, Special Agent in Charge of the FBI in Michigan. “My office stands with our partners at the Iron Mountain Police Department in our commitment to vigorously investigate those who commit crimes against children.”

          This case is part of Project Safe Childhood, a nationwide initiative designed to protect children from online exploitation and abuse. The U.S. Attorney’s Office, county prosecutor's offices, the Internet Crimes Against Children task force (ICAC), federal, state, tribal, and local law enforcement are working closely together to locate, apprehend, and prosecute individuals who exploit children. The partners in Project Safe Childhood work to educate local communities about the dangers of online child exploitation, and to teach children how to protect themselves. For more information about Project Safe Childhood, please visit the following website: Individuals with information or concerns about possible child exploitation should contact local law enforcement officials.

          This case was tried by Assistant U.S. Attorneys Ted Greeley and Hanna Rutkowski and investigated by the FBI and the Iron Mountain Police Department.


Updated March 15, 2024

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