Hillsboro Man Pleads Guilty to Enticing a Minor

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SPRINGFIELD, Ill. – Andrew B. Collins, 32, of the 200 block of Main Street, in Hillsboro, Illinois, pleaded guilty to the charge of enticement of a minor on Friday, October 15, 2021.  Sentencing has been scheduled for February 14, 2022, in U.S. District Court for the Central District of Illinois in Springfield.

At the change-of-plea hearing before U.S. Magistrate Judge Tom Schanzle-Haskins, Collins admitted that he enticed a 16-year-old boy to engage in sexually explicit conduct.

During the hearing, the government stated that online chats between Collins and the minor showed that Collins persuaded the minor to engage in intercourse by offering him toy gifts, promises of weekends together, nude massages, and the option to permanently live together in the future. 

For the offense of enticement of a minor, the statutory penalty is not less than ten years and up to life in prison; a fine of up to $250,000; and a term of supervised release of not less than five years and up to life.  

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Agencies participating in the investigation include the United States Secret Service, and the Southern Illinois University Police Department, which is a member of the Central and Southern Illinois Attorney General’s Financial and Cyber Crimes Task Force. Assistant U.S. Attorney Gregory K. Harris is representing the government in the prosecution.

The case was brought as part of Project Safe Childhood, a Department of Justice initiative led by U.S. Attorneys’ Offices and the Criminal Division’s Child Exploitation and Obscenity Section (CEOS), to marshal federal, state, and local resources to locate, apprehend, and prosecute individuals who exploit children via the Internet as well as to identify and rescue victims.  For more information about Project Safe Childhood, please visit www.projectsafechildhood.gov.

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