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‘Child predator’ from Swansea gets 40-year sentence on sex offenses, feds say | #childpredator | #kidsaftey | #childsaftey

A 45-year-old Swansea man who was a registered sex offender has been sentenced to serve about 40 years in prison after a jury convicted him of sexually exploiting a teenager, the U.S. Attorney’s Office said Thursday.

Dan R. Waeckerle Jr. was convicted in January by a federal jury of soliciting an obscene visual depiction of a minor, transferring obscene matter to a minor, sexual exploitation of a minor and offense by a registered sex offender, according to a news release from federal prosecutors.

“Waeckerle had sexually explicit conversations with a 15-year-old minor via text message in July 2021,” the release states. “Evidence presented during the trial revealed Waeckerle sent the minor a genital image, requested sexually explicit images and videos from the minor and discussed meeting the minor for sex.”

U.S. District Judge Staci Yandle on Monday in Benton sentenced Waeckerle to serve 485 months in prison, which is about 40 years. He also must be on supervised release for life and pay a $1,000 fine, according to court records.

Waeckerle was previously convicted of aggravated criminal sexual abuse against a minor in Hamilton County, Illinois, in 2010, according to the news release.

The latest investigation was conducted by the U.S. Secret Service Central and Southern Illinois Financial and Cyber Crimes Task Force, with members from the O’Fallon Police Department leading the investigation. Additional support was provided by the Illinois Attorney General’s Office, the Swansea Police Department and the Illinois State Police.

“Child predators like Waeckerle leave their victims with lasting trauma, and this significant prison sentence sends a strong message to abusers,” said U.S. Attorney Rachelle Aud Crowe said in a statement. “The U.S. Attorney’s Office will continue to work with our local, state, and federal law enforcement partners to protect children from offenders. I commend the O’Fallon Police Department for their investigation which ultimately placed Waeckerle behind bars.”

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