Indiana man gets 66 years for sexual exploitation of Vermilion County child

Indiana man gets 66 years for sexual exploitation of Vermilion County child

URBANA — A 23-year-old Crawfordsville, Ind., man was sentenced to a total of 66 years in federal prison for sexually exploiting a child in Vermilion County.

According to the U.S. Attorney’s office in Urbana, Nehemiah Lafoe was sentenced to three 22-year terms for two counts of sexual exploitation of a child and one count of travel with intent to engage in illicit sexual conduct.

Lafoe was ordered to serve the terms consecutively. Upon his release, he will remain on supervised release for life.

Lafoe pleaded guilty to the charges Jan. 16. He admitted that on two occasions in July 2017, he enticed the child to take a photo of themselves engaging in a sexually explicit act and send it to him over the internet. He further admitted that on May 23, 2017, he traveled from Indiana to Illinois for the purpose of engaging in sexual acts with a minor.

According to court documents, Lafoe communicated with the minor through a popular social-networking app. He was arrested Sept. 27 by U.S. marshals.

Lafoe is the fourth defendant to be sentenced for child-exploitation and child-pornography offenses in federal court in Urbana since early April. The four unrelated cases were investigated by the FBI and Illinois State Police and prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Elly M. Peirson.

The others include:

— Gary F. Beals, 44, of Trilla, who was sentenced April 13 to five years in prison, followed by five years of supervised release, after pleading guilty last October to distribution of child pornography.

— Michael J. Mann, 47, of Momence, who was sentenced April 9 to 10 years and one month in prison, followed by 15 years of supervised release, after pleading guilty last December to distributing, receiving and possessing child pornography.

— Joshua L. Hazelbaker, 41, of Fithian, who was sentenced April 6 to 10½ years in prison, followed by 15 years of supervised release, after pleading guilty in June to receiving and possessing child pornography.

The cases were investigated as part of the Department of Justice’s Project Safe Childhood, a nationwide initiative to combat child sexual exploitation and abuse.

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