A Pierce City man has been sentenced to 19 years and seven months in prison for enticing a minor for illicit sex.
William Rohe, 55, of Pierce City, was sentenced in federal court on Tuesday, Oct. 2, by United States District Judge Richard E. Dorr.
In April, members of the Southwest Missouri Cybercrimes Task Force were contacted by Pierce City Police Chief Michael Abramovitz, who reported a 14-year-old minor had been repeatedly contacted by Rohe through his Facebook account.
Using that profile, investigators sent a friend request to Rohe, who accepted the request and immediately started sending messages to the fictitious account.
Beginning on Aug. 5, Rohe and an undercover officer exchanged numerous text messages, Facebook chats and postings via the Internet and cell phone. Rohe asked for a meeting at the Pierce City Park and informed the undercover officer that he intended to engage in deviate sexual intercourse when they met.
On Aug. 6, investigators set up surveillance and waited for Rohe to come to the park. When Rohe arrived at the pre-arranged meeting place, he was immediately arrested.
A search of Rohe's residence resulted in the seizure of multiple computers and hard drives. The computers were previewed with forensic software and were found to contain child pornography.
On May 22, Rohe pleaded guilty to using the Internet in an attempt to induce a minor under the age of 14 to engage in illicit sexual activity.
Assistant U.S. Attorney James J. Kelleher prosecuted the case.
Investigating agencies included the Southwest Missouri Cybercrimes Task Force, the Jasper County Sheriff's Department, the Pierce City Police Department and the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement Office of Homeland Security. The Cybercrimes Task Force includes officers from the Barry County Sheriff's Office and the Cassville Police Department.
The case was brought as a part of Project Safe Childhood, a nationwide initiative launched by the Department of Justice to combat child exploitation and abuse.