A 63-year-old Missouri man used a dating app to meet an Illinois teen for sex


A close up of the hands of a young woman using a mobile phone

BELLEVILLE, Ill. – A federal jury found a 63-year-old Jefferson County man guilty of using a dating app to arrange sex with a 15-year-old and take explicit images of her. Earl G. Rice, Jr. is scheduled to attend a sentencing hearing on January 27, 2022. He could spend the rest of his life in prison.

The Department of Justice says that Rice started chatting with the teen through the app and said he was interested in meeting up. On Valentines Day 2018 he drove to Belleville, Illinois, from Dittmer, Missouri with alcohol, condoms, and a candle to meet. They went to a nearby hotel where they had sex and he took explicit pictures of her on his cell phone.

Belleville Police arrested Rice at the motel the next day. They were able to find them because he was described as driving a “red hooptie”.

A jury saw the pictures, surveillance video, and heard testimony about DNA evidence during a five-day trial at the federal courthouse in Benton, Illinois. They found him guilty of charges related to traveling, enticing, and sexual exploitation of a minor. The sentences for each of the charges are decades in prison. Enticement of a minor is punishable by up to life in prison.

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