10/22/2021 | Press release | Distributed by Public on 10/22/2021 09:08
ROCK ISLAND, Ill. - A Davenport, Iowa, man, Douglas Speer, 31, of West 49th Street, was sentenced to eleven years in federal prison, to be followed by fifteen years of supervised release, on October 20, 2021, for traveling with the intent to engage in illicit sexual activity and attempting to entice two underage girls to engage in sexual activity.
According to court documents, in November 2020, Speer arranged to pay for sex with individuals he believed to be two girls, ages fifteen and eleven. After traveling from Iowa to Illinois to meet with the intended victims, Speer was arrested by federal agents and local law enforcement officers.
Speer was subsequently charged in an indictment with two counts of attempted enticement of a minor and one count of travel with the intent to engage in illicit sexual activity. In June 2021, Speer pleaded guilty to two counts of attempted enticement of a minor and one count of traveling with the intent to engage in illicit sexual activity.
At Speer's sentencing hearing, U.S. District Court Judge Sara Darrow stated that the applicable penalties, including the statutory minimum of ten years in prison, were severe but necessary given that such laws serve to protect the most vulnerable within the community from "predators" like Speer. The judge further commented on the need for a sentence such as this to deter others from attempting similar crimes.
The statutory penalty for each count of attempted enticement of a minor is a minimum of 10 years to life imprisonment. The penalty for travel with intent to engage in illicit sexual activity is up to 30 years in prison. Each count also carries a fine of up to $250,000.
This case was investigated as part of an operation by the Federal Bureau of Investigation, Springfield Office, with the assistance of the Rock Island Police Department, the Macomb Police Department, the Illinois State Police, the East Moline Police Department, the Galesburg Police Department, the Davenport Police Department, and the Knox County Sherriff's Office. Assistant U.S. Attorneys Alyssa Raya and Ryan Bintz represented the government in the prosecution.
The case was brought as part of Project Safe Childhood, a nationwide initiative by the Department of Justice to combat the epidemic of child sexual exploitation and abuse. 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 better 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.