PEORIA, Ill. – A Bridgeport, Illinois, man, Billy Joe Kocher, 49, of the 300 block of Olive Street, was sentenced on October 20, 2021, to 10 years in prison, to be followed by 10 years of supervised release, for attempted enticement of a minor, in violation of 18 U.S.C. §2422(b).
At the sentencing hearing, the government presented evidence that in April 2021 Kocher had attempted to meet with a person he believed to be a father of an eight-year-old girl. The purpose of the meeting was for Kocher to pay for the opportunity to have sex with the eight-year-old child.
Kocher was indicted in June 2020 and pleaded guilty in June 2021, pursuant to a written plea agreement.
The statutory penalties for attempted enticement of a minor are at least 10 years to life imprisonment, to be followed by at a term of supervised release of at least five years and up to life, as well as a fine of up to $250,000.
The Federal Bureau of Investigation, Springfield Office, investigated the case. Assistant U.S. Attorneys Paul B. Morris and Douglas F. McMeyer represented the government in the prosecution.
The case against Kocher 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), Project Safe Childhood marshals 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.