WINNEBAGO COUNTY, Wisconsin – A man walked from an Indianapolis suburb to Wisconsin — a 351-mile journey — to have sex with a person he believed was the 14-year-old girl he had been talking to on Facebook, prosecutors said.
Instead, 32-year-old Tommy Lee Jenkins had been talking to a Winnebago County Sheriff’s deputy working with the Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force, a statement from the US Attorney’s Office in the Eastern District of Wisconsin said.
He is charged with using a computer to attempt to persuade, induce or entice a minor to engage in unlawful sexual activity, the office said, and faces 10 years to life in prison if convicted.
CNN has reached out to Jenkins’ attorney, a federal defender, and has not received a response.
“Our nation faces an epidemic of child sexual abuse, with the Internet making it too easy for predators to communicate with children across the country,” United States Attorney Matthew D. Krueger said in a statement.
“The Justice Department is committed to working with federal, state, and local law enforcement agencies to prosecute child sexual abuse aggressively.”
The law enforcement officer was posing as a girl named “Kylee” who lived in Neenah, Wisconsin, with her mother, the attorney’s office said.
Jenkins accepted a friend request from Kylee’s profile and soon began engaging in sexual conversations with her, asking her if she’s had sex and requesting explicit pictures, a criminal complaint alleges.
In early October, Jenkins began asking the girl if she wanted him to come to Wisconsin.
When she said yes, he later told her he had begun walking from Whitestown, Indiana, to where she was.
“I will tell you when i get to neenah 108 hours by walking,” he said, according to the complaint.
Throughout his journey, Jenkins sent pictures of areas he passed, including photos of exit signs and selfies, the complaint said.
On October 10, he said he had made it to the state and that someone had bought him a bus ticket to get to the girl’s town.
Authorities arrested Jenkins when he arrived, the attorney’s office said.
Jenkins is scheduled to appear in federal court on October 23.