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Press Release

New Mexico Man Sentenced for Travel With Intent to Engage in Illicit Sexual Conduct With Minor

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

MADISON, WIS. – Timothy M. O’Shea, United States Attorney for the Western District of Wisconsin, announced that Matthew Engelhardt, 33, of Roswell, New Mexico, was sentenced today by U.S. District Judge James Peterson to 51 months in prison for traveling from New Mexico to Wisconsin with the intent to engage in illicit sexual conduct with minor.  This term of imprisonment is to be followed by 20 years of supervised release.  Engelhardt pleaded guilty to this charge on December 6, 2021.

In April 2019, an undercover officer posing as a 14-year-old girl received a Facebook Messenger message from Engelhardt asking her to be his girlfriend. Later in the initial conversation, Engelhardt asked “the girl” whether she would have sex with him. 

Over the next two years, conversations continued on and off.  In April 2021, Engelhardt told the undercover persona that he would be coming to Wisconsin to visit his sister at the end of June and asked if she would see him.  The two arranged to meet at a retail store in Janesville, Wisconsin to have sex in the bathroom. 

On June 30, 2021, undercover officers saw Engelhardt leave a motel in Janesville and run to the retail store where he was arrested.  Agents found a condom in his pocket. 

Judge Peterson indicated that a sentence of more than four years was sufficient to ensure the defendant knew that what he did was wrong.

The charge against Engelhardt was the result of an investigation conducted by the Wisconsin Department of Justice Division of Criminal Investigation, Janesville Police Department, and U.S. Immigration and Custom Enforcement’s Homeland Security Investigations.  Assistant U.S. Attorney Elizabeth Altman prosecuted this case. 

Updated March 8, 2022

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