PEORIA, Ill. (WCIA) – A federal jury deliberated for just over 90 minutes on Wednesday before finding a Paxton man guilty for enticement of a minor.
According to prosecutors, Robert Anderson, 52, used the dating app MeetMe in February of 2020 to arrange a meeting for sexual activity in Kankakee County. Anderson believed the person he would be meeting was a 15-year-old minor.
Anderson was arrested by agents of the FBI’s Springfield Division, who were assisted by Kankakee County authorities.
“This guilty verdict shows both the ongoing threat to our children and that law enforcement and prosecutors are working together to combat the threat,” said Acting U.S. Attorney Doug Quivey. “We will all collectively continue to work together to protect our children.”
Anderson’s arrest and prosecution are part of a nationwide initiative by the Department of Justice called Project Safe Childhood. The initiative assembles federal, state and local authorities to better locate, apprehend and prosecute people who sexually exploit and abuse children, as well as to rescue victims.
“I appreciate Acting U.S. Attorney Doug Quivey’s partnership with my office, which is critical to holding accountable individuals who prey on minors,” Illinois Attorney General Kwame Raoul said. “This verdict underscores the importance of collaboration between state and federal law enforcement, and I look forward to our continued work to protect Illinois’ children.”
Anyone who suspects another person of having inappropriate contact with a minor is encouraged to report such contact to law enforcement immediately. More information about Project Safe Childhood can be found on its website.