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Man walked 350 miles to have sex with teenage girl, says FBI

Suspect target of police sting operation

Andrew Buncombe
Monday 14 October 2019 20:27 BST
The 32-year-old was arrested upon arriving in Wisconsin
The 32-year-old was arrested upon arriving in Wisconsin (Courtesy Winnebago County Jail)

A 32-year-old man has been accused of embarking on a 350-mile walk in order to have sex with a teenage girl, only to discover he was the target of a police sting.

Authorities have said Tommy Lee Jenkins, of Whitestown, Indiana, believed he was speaking via instant messages with a 14-year-old girl called Kylee, and hatched a plan to meet her.

Prosecutors said when “Kylee” pointed out she was only 14, Mr Jenkins is said to have said this was not a problem, writing: “U would be my kid for ever. I have people that would take care of it with the paperwork.”

After “Kylee” said she could not go to see him in Wisconsin, he set off on a journey involving a bus and lots of walking, to travel to her home in Winnebago County, Wisconsin.

What he did not know was that the person he was speaking to was a member of the Winnebago County’s sheriff’s office. Once he got there, he was arrested.

When his numerous requests for “Kylee” to join him in Indiana were rebuffed, Mr Jenkins began walking the 351-mile trek, prosecutors said in a press release. Along the way, he continued to engage “Kylee” in sexually explicit conversations and updated her as to his current location.

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“Our nation faces an epidemic of child sexual abuse, with the internet making it too easy for predators to communicate with children across the country,” said federal prosecutor Matthew Krueger.

“The justice department is committed to working with federal, state, and local law enforcement agencies to prosecute child sexual abuse aggressively.”

The Washington Post said Mr Jenkins had previously caught the eye of police. In 2011, while living in Oshkosh, Wisconsin, he was charged with two counts of repeated first-degree sexual assault after two boys, ages seven, and eight, told police that he had touched them inappropriately and threatened them.

Last week, he was was charged with using a computer to attempt to persuade, induce, or entice a minor to engage in unlawful sexual activity. If convicted, he faces a mandatory minimum sentence of 10 years and a maximum of life imprisonment.

It is not known whether the suspect has a lawyer or has had a chance to enter a plea.

Additional reporting by Associated Press

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