Courts

Daily Journal staff report

PEORIA — A federal jury deliberated for just over 90 minutes before returning a guilty verdict Wednesday against Robert Shawn Anderson, 52, of Paxton, on one count of enticement of a minor.

Over two days of testimony this week, the government presented evidence to establish that Anderson arranged to meet an individual he believed to be a 15-year-old for sexual activity on the dating site MeetMe, according to a news release.

Sentencing for Anderson has been scheduled for Jan. 10, 2022, before U.S. District Judge Michael Mihm at the federal courthouse in Peoria. Anderson faces statutory penalties of 10 years to life imprisonment. He remains in the custody of the U.S. Marshals.

Anderson was arrested over Valentine’s Day weekend 2020 as part of a Federal Bureau of Investigation, Springfield Division, operation conducted in Kankakee County.

Authorities arrested 15 men, including 11 from Kankakee County, on child sex charges, according to federal authorities.

The operation was conducted with the assistance of the Bradley Police Department, the Illinois Attorney General’s Office Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force, the Kankakee County Sheriff’s Office, and the Kankakee Area Metropolitan Enforcement Group. Special Assistant U.S. Attorney Shannon O’Brien — also Deputy Bureau Chief for the Illinois Attorney General’s Office — and Assistant U.S. Attorney Elly Peirson represented the government at trial.

“This guilty verdict shows both the ongoing threat to our children and that law enforcement and prosecutors are working together to combat the threat,” Acting U.S. Attorney Doug Quivey said in the release. “We will all collectively continue to work together to protect our children.”

Jeff Bonty is a reporter for The Daily Journal. He can be reached at jbonty@daily-journal.com and 815-937-3366.

Reporter

Jeff Bonty has worked for The Daily Journal since September 1986, starting in the sports department before moving to news reporting in 2002. He's a native of Indiana and graduate of Purdue University. His email is jbonty@daily-journal.com.