By Frank Lewis
A federal grand jury sitting in East St. Louis, Illinois, has indicted Nathan D. Maphis, 36, of New Boston — charging him with travel with intent to engage in illicit sexual conduct, according to Stephen R. Wigginton, United States Attorney for the Southern District of Illinois.
The offense charged in the indictment alleges that on June 24 and 25, 2014, Maphis travelled from the State of Ohio to Effingham County, Illinois, for the purpose of engaging in a sexual act with a person under the age of 18 years.
A federal trial date has not yet been set. If convicted of travel with intent to engage in illicit sexual conduct, Maphis faces a term in prison of up to 30 years; a fine of up to $250,000, and a term of supervised release of not less than five years, up to and including, a lifetime of supervision once he is released.
Maphis was sought by authorities when, in June, he reportedly left the area with a 14-year-old girl who was identified by the Scioto County Sheriff’s Office as an “unruly runaway.” The two were apprehended in Madison County, Illinois, a few days later and Maphis was charged.
Stephanee Smith, of the Madison County State’s Attorney’s Office, said the case was brought as part of Project Safe Childhood, a nationwide initiative launched in 2006 by the Department of Justice to combat the growing epidemic of child sexual exploitation and abuse, led by the United States Attorneys’ Offices and the Criminal Division’s Child Exploitation and Obscenity Section, Project Safe Childhood marshals federal, state, and local resources to locate, apprehend, and prosecute individuals who sexually exploit children, and to identify and rescue victims. For more information about Project Safe Childhood, please visit www.usdoj.gov/psc. For more information about internet safety education, please visit www.usdoj.gov/psc and click on the tab “resources.”
Smith said the case was investigated by the Madison County Sheriff’s Department, the Federal Bureau of Investigation’s Metro East Cyber Crimes and Analysis Task Force, the Maryville, Illinois, Police Department and the Illinois State Police. The case is assigned to Assistant United States Attorney Ali Summers.
Frank Lewis can be reached at 740-353-3101, Ext. 1928, or on Twitter @FrankLewispdt.
UPDATE: In an articled published July 29, 2014, about the indictment against Nathan Maphis, an error was made by crediting the Madison County State’s Attorney’s Office with the information. The correct version should read: “The United States Attorney for the Southern District of Illinois.”
The Daily Times apologizes for this mistake. If you find a mistake in the newspaper, please contact Daily Times Content Manager Ryan Ottney at 740-353-3101, Ext. 1927 or firstname.lastname@example.org.