NEENAH, Wis. (NBC4) – Wisconsin deputies and an FBI special agent arrested a 32-year-old man who allegedly walked from Indiana to Wisconsin to have sex with a 14-year-old girl, according to a Justice Department news release.
Tommy Lee Jenkins, a former Wisconsin resident now living in Whitestown, Indiana, was charged Thursday with using a computer to attempt to persuade, induce, or entice a minor to engage in unlawful sexual activity. If convicted, Jenkins faces a mandatory minimum sentence of 10 years and a maximum of life imprisonment.
Authorities say Jenkins believed he was chatting via instant message with a teen named “Kylee,” who was actually a Winnebago County Sheriff’s Deputy with the Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force.
When “Kylee” declined to send him sexually explicit photos and turned down an invitation to move to Indiana to live with him, the release says Jenkins started walking – embarking on a 351-mile trek to meet her in Neenah, Wisconsin.
Investigators say they received numerous sexually explicit messages from Jenkins during his journey, along with updates on his location.
Officers arrested Jenkins when he reached Winnebago County.
“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 United States Attorney Krueger. “The Justice Department is committed to working with federal, state, and local law enforcement agencies to prosecute child sexual abuse aggressively.”