BELLEVILLE – On Thursday, Joseph L. Hughes, a/k/a “Joe King,” 29, of St. Louis, Missouri, was sentenced to 149 months in prison for enticing a 14-year old girl to engage in sex and traveling across state lines to have sex with her. Hughes committed the offenses in late 2018 and pled guilty to the three-count federal indictment in October 2020.

According to court filings, Hughes and the minor victim used Facebook Messenger to communicate. Hughes later traveled from St. Louis to the girl’s home in Belleville, Illinois, to have sex with her on Nov. 24, 2018, and Dec. 8, 2018. As part of his guilty plea, Hughes admitted that the victim told him her age right away, and that he knew what he did was against the law.

The case was investigated by the FBI, the Belleville Police Department, the St. Clair County Sheriff’s Department, and the St. Louis County Police Department, with assistance from the St. Clair County States Attorney’s Office. Assistant United States Attorney Angela Scott prosecuted the case.

Hughes’s sentence includes a five-year term of supervised release and a $300 fine.

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