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Man faces life in prison for walking from Indiana to Fox Valley to have sex with 14-year-old

A former Oshkosh resident is faced with a lifetime prison sentence for walking from Indiana to Wisconsin to meet someone he thought was a teenage girl for sex.

A complaint from the U.S. Attorney’s Office in the Eastern District of Wisconsin said 32-year-old Tommy Jenkins was messaging online someone he believed was a 14-year-old girl from Neenah. He started asking for sexually explicit pictures and made plans to meet the girl.

The girl was actually a Winnebago County sheriff’s deputy, who rebuffed Jenkins’ requests to join him in Indiana. Jenkins had recently moved from Oshkosh to Indiana, and when the “girl” told him she wouldn’t come to Indiana, the complaint said he started walking 351 miles to Neenah. Along the way, he was sending her sexually explicit conversations and telling her where he was on his route.

Officials arrested Jenkins upon his arrival in Winnebago County, more than 300 miles from his home. He’s charged with using a computer to attempt to persuade, induce or entice a minor to engage in unlawful sexual activity. He faces a mandatory minimum sentence of 10 years and up to a lifetime in prison if convicted.

About Michaela Paukner, mpaukner@wislawjournal.com

Michaela Paukner is the legal reporter for the Wisconsin Law Journal. She can be reached at (414) 225-1825 or by email at mpaukner@wislawjournal.com.

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