United States Department of Justice
United States Attorney’s Office
District of Minnesota
United States Attorney
B. Todd Jones,
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Thursday, October 14, 2010
Truman man pleads guilty to transporting a child for sexual purposes and producing child pornography
Earlier today a 44-year-old over-the-road trucker from the small southern Minnesota town of Truman pleaded guilty in federal court in Minneapolis to taking a child on interstate trucking trips for the purpose of having sexual relations with her and producing pornography involving her. Appearing before United States District Court Chief Judge Michael J. Davis, Kenneth Leon Wilcox pleaded guilty to one count of transportation of a minor with intent to engage in criminal sexual activity and one count of production of child pornography. Wilcox was indicted on June 15, 2010.
In his plea agreement, Wilcox admitted that on October 20, 2007, he transported a then
14-year-old girl from Minnesota to Wisconsin and had sexual relations with her in the cab of his semi-truck. Wilcox also admitted that on that same date, he used an eight-millimeter video camera to film the girl engaging in sexually explicit conduct. In addition, Wilcox transported the girl and engaged in similar activities in West Virginia on December 2, 2007; Virginia on February 4, 2008; Maryland on March 11, 2008; and Ohio on March 30, 2008.
For his crimes, Wilcox faces a potential maximum penalty of life in prison on the transportation of a minor charge, with a mandatory minimum sentence of 10 years. For producing child pornography, Wilcox faces a potential maximum penalty of 30 years, with a mandatory minimum sentence of 15 years. Judge Davis will determine his sentence at a future hearing, yet to be scheduled.
This case is the result of an investigation by the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the
Truman Police Department, the Martin County Sheriff’s Office, the Fairmont Police Department, the Jackson Police Department, the Cedar Rapids Police Department (Iowa), and the Buchanan County Sheriff’s Office (Iowa). It is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorneys Kimberly A. Svendsen and Karen B. Schommer.
This case involves the trafficking of a human being. In Fiscal Year 2007, the Civil Rights
Division of the U.S. Department of Justice, working with the various U.S. Attorneys around the country, initiated 183 investigations, charged 89 defendants in 32 cases, and obtained 103 human trafficking convictions, the majority of which were for sex trafficking. Between 2001 and 2007,318 defendants were charged with violating statutes under the federal Trafficking Victims Protection Act, which was enacted in 2000.
The U.S. Department of Justice is committed to combating the sexual exploitation of children. It recently submitted to Congress the first-ever National Strategy for Child Exploitation Prevention and Interdiction. That strategy seeks to strengthen many of the weapons already used in the fight against the proliferation of technology-based sexual exploitation crimes involving children.
For example, the federal website established in 2006 as part of Project Safe Childhood, the initial national effort to address Internet-facilitated sex crimes against children, is being relaunched after being improved for better information sharing and crime reporting. The U.S. Marshals Service is launching an operation to locate and apprehend the 500 most dangerous, unregistered sex offenders in the country. And, the Justice Department is developing a national database that will allow federal, state, local, and tribal law enforcement agencies to deconflict their cases.