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The Daily Register - Harrisburg, IL
  • Rosiclare woman pleads guilty to internet sex charge

  • A Rosiclare woman plead guilty in federal court on charges of trying to induce a minor to engage in sex using the internet.
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  • A Rosiclare woman pled guilty in federal court today to using the internet to arrange sex acts with a minor, U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of Illinois, Stephen R. Wigginton, announced today.
    Heather M. Banks, 23, pled guilty to having used the internet earlier this summer on June 18 to induce a minor to engage in illegal sexual acts. She induced a minor to provide her with prescription medications in exchange for sex.
    The charged offense carries a penalty of from 10 years to life in prison, a $250,000 fine, and a term of supervised release from 5 years to life.
    Sentencing for Banks is scheduled for Dec. 20.
    The Federal Bureau of Investigation and the Hardin County State's Attorney's
    Office investigated the case which was brought as part of Project Safe Childhood, a nationwide initiative launched in May 2006 by the Department of Justice to combat the growing epidemic of child sexual exploitation and abuse.
    Led by the United States Attorneys' offices and the Criminal Division's Child Exploitation and Obscenity Section, Project Safe Childhood marshals federal, state, and local resources to locate, apprehend, and prosecute individuals who sexually exploit children, and to identify and rescue victims.
    More information about Project Safe Childhood can be found at www.usdoj.gov/psc. At the site additional information about internet safety education can be found by clicking on the tab "resources."
    The case is being prosecuted by Asst. U.S. Attorney Thomas E. Leggans prosecuted the case.
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