BENTON – In a U.S. District courtroom on Wednesday, a federal jury returned a guilty verdict after a three-day trial for an O’Fallon man charged with enticing a minor. Eric Richardson, 40, was convicted of using his cellphone to persuade a minor to engage in sexual activity. “We have a civic duty to protect children from sexual predators, and I’m reassured by the jury’s decision to convict the defendant of trying to persuade a minor into sexual acts with him,” said U.S. Attorney Rachelle Aud Crowe.

“I appreciate the involved officers with the O’Fallon Police Department for their efforts to apprehend this offender.”

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According to evidence presented at trial, Richardson used his cellphone to persuade a minor to engage in sexual activity upon his return from a trip to Florida in October 2019.

The term of imprisonment is a mandatory minimum of 10 years and up to life. Richardson’s sentencing is scheduled for 9:30 a.m. on June 15, 2023. Officers Nicholas Schmidt, Nicholas Stewart and Adam Krack with the O’Fallon Police Department led the investigation with assistance from the U.S. Secret Service.

Assistant U.S. Attorneys Karelia Rajagopal and Tom Leggans prosecuted the case.

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