PEORIA, Ill. (WMBD) — A registered sex offender in Peoria was sentenced for attempted sex trafficking of a child Thursday.
According to a press release from the Central District of Illinois United States Attorney’s Office, 50-year-old James Wright was sentenced to 37 years in prison for attempted sex trafficking of a child as a registered sex offender.
U.S. District Court Judge James E. Shadid found that Wright’s claim that he was attempting to investigate the trafficking of children, rather than attempting to engage in a sex act with a child, lacked credibility due to the evidence.
Evidence produced during the trial showed the Wright had an extended online discussion and negotiation related to engaging with a sex act with a minor and attempted to solicit pornographic images of the minor.
Wright had also arrived at a location where the sex act was supposed to occur, at an agreed-upon time and place with an agreed-upon amount of money that had been carried separately from the rest of his money.
“This very significant sentence imposed by Judge Shadid again demonstrates that those who desire and take steps to sexually harm people they believe to be children will be severally punished,” said Acting United States Attorney Doug Quivey.
Wright was previously convicted for aggravated criminal sexual abuse of a minor female of the same age in 2012.
The Federal Bureau of Investigation, Springfield Field Office, and the Illinois State Police investigated the case. The government was represented in the prosecution by Assistant U.S. Attorneys Douglas F. McMeyer and Paul B. Morris.