Stephen R. Wigginton, United States United States Attorney for the Southern District of Illinois, announced today that Joshua Robert Hoover, 32, of York, Nebraska, was sentenced today in federal court in East St. Louis for persuading, inducing, and enticing a minor to produce child pornography. Hoover was sentenced to 382 months’ (31 years and 10 months) in prison, a life term of supervised release, a $500 fine, $1,000 in restitution, and a $100 special assessment.
“This case should serve as a tragic warning to parents—please take the time to learn who your children are connecting with on the Internet. Predators are out there waiting to victimize our children,” said United States Attorney Wigginton. “I am pleased that the court saw Hoover for the predator he is and gave a sentence which should serve to protect other innocent victims.”
A factual stipulation filed with the court states that Hoover, while living in Nebraska, where he is a registered sex offender, communicated by telephone and via the Internet with a 14-year-old girl in the Southern District of Illinois between April 7 and April 16, 2011. The girl’s mother discovered the correspondence and reported it to law enforcement agents, who interviewed the girl and discovered that Hoover had sent the girl photographs of his erect penis, and discovered correspondence in which he encouraged her to send him photographs of her breasts and vagina.
On May 5, 2011, law enforcement agents executed a search warrant at Hoover’s home in York, Nebraska and seized the computer he had used in his correspondence with the girl. The agents also interviewed Hoover, who admitted that he knew the girl was 14 years old. He further admitted that he had received the sexually-explicit photographs of the girl via e-mail after he had sent her images of himself, including images of his genitalia.
The case was prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Stephen B. Clark and by former Assistant U.S. Attorney Nicole Gorovsky, and investigated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation.