United States Attorney's Office for the Northern District of Illinois

01/13/2021 | Press release | Distributed by Public on 01/14/2021 10:15

Registered Sex Offender From Freeport Charged With Traveling to Iowa to Engage in Sexual Conduct With a Minor

ROCKFORD - A Freeport man was indicted Tuesday by a federal grand jury on charges related to sexual conduct with a minor.

ERICH M. BRINKMEIER, 25, was charged with two counts of travel with intent to engage in illicit sexual conduct with a minor and one count of committing a felony offense involving a minor when he was required to be registered as a sex offender.

The indictment was announced by John R. Lausch, Jr., United States Attorney for the Northern District of Illinois; Emmerson Buie, Jr., Special Agent-in-Charge of the Chicago Field Office of the FBI; and Matt Summers, Chief of the Freeport Police Department. The Rockford Police Department assisted in the investigation. The government is represented by Assistant U.S. Attorney Michael D. Love.

According to the indictment, Brinkmeier on Oct. 28, 2019, and Nov. 4, 2019, traveled from Illinois to Iowa with the intent of engaging in a sexual act with a 14-year-old child. The indictment also alleges that the interstate travel and sexual acts with a child by Brinkmeier occurred while he was required to be registered as a sex offender.

Each count of travel with intent to engage in illicit sexual conduct with a minor carries a maximum penalty of up to 30 years in federal prison, and a fine of up to $250,000. The count of committing a felony offense involving a minor carries a mandatory minimum prison sentence of ten years that must be served after any sentence on the travel counts is completed. If Brinkmeier is convicted, the Court must impose a reasonable sentence under federal sentencing statutes and the advisory United States Sentencing Guidelines.

The public is reminded that an indictment contains only charges and is not evidence of guilt. The defendant is presumed innocent and entitled to a fair trial at which the government has the burden of proving guilt beyond a reasonable doubt.