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Illinois Man Sentenced to Five Years for Federal Child Pornography Conviction

U.S. Attorney’s Office December 04, 2012
  • District of New Mexico (505) 346-7274

ALBUQUERQUE—Jerrold Wexler, 61, of Barrington, Illinois, was sentenced this afternoon to a five-year term of imprisonment, to be followed by 10 years of supervised release, for his conviction for attempted receipt of a visual depiction of a minor. Wexler will be required to register as a sex offender after he completes his prison sentence.

U.S. Attorney Kenneth J. Gonzales said that Wexler was charged after he sent a webcam to an undercover officer from the Curry County Sheriff’s Office in Clovis, New Mexico, who was pretending to be an 11-year-old girl, so that the “girl” could create and send sexually explicit photos of her to him.

Court filings reflect that Wexler met the undercover officer in July 2010 in a Yahoo chat room and began an e-mail and text messaging relationship with the officer that lasted approximately six months. During the electronic relationship, Wexler repeatedly asked the officer for sexually explicit photos and described the sexual acts he wanted to perform on the “girl.” After the officer received a webcam from Wexler, officers executed a search warrant at Wexler’s residence and seized computers and computer-related media, which contained evidence of Wexler’s communication with the officer, as well as “chats” between Wexler and girls who stated that they were under the age of 18.

In his plea agreement, Wexler admitted that, on July 30, 2010, he began an e-mail and texting relationship that was sexual in nature with an undercover officer who was posing as an 11-year-old girl. During the relationship, which went on for months, Wexler asked the officer to send nude photographs of her to him at his private e-mail account. After the officer expressed an interest in a webcam, Wexler admitted sending one to an address provided by the officer so that the “girl” could send nude photos of her to him.

Wexler was charged based on an investigation by the Curry County Sheriff’s Office, the Albuquerque and Chicago Divisions of the FBI, the U.S. Postal Service and the New Mexico Regional Computer Forensic Lab and was prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Charlyn E. Rees.

The case was brought as part of Project Safe Childhood, a nationwide initiative launched in May 2006 by the Department of Justice to combat the growing epidemic of child sexual exploitation and abuse. Led by U.S. Attorneys’ Offices and the Criminal Division’s Child Exploitation and Obscenity Section, 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 http://www.justice.gov/psc/.

The case also was brought as part of the New Mexico Internet Crimes Against Children (ICAC) Task Force whose mission it is to locate, track, and capture Internet child sexual predators and Internet child pornographers in New Mexico. There are 64 federal, state, and local law enforcement agencies associated with the New Mexico ICAC Task Force, which is funded by a grant administered by the New Mexico Attorney General’s Office. Anyone with information relating to suspected child predators and suspected child abuse is encouraged to contact federal or local law enforcement.

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