PEORIA (WEEK) - A convicted sex offender from Peoria has been sentenced to 37 years in prison for attempted sex trafficking of a child.
James Wright, 50, was found guilty during an earlier bench trial and sentenced Thursday in Peoria federal court.
U.S. District Judge James E. Shadid rejected Wright's claim that he was trying to investigate trafficking of children, rather than attempting to have sex with a child.
The judge noted Wright's substantial efforts to engage in a sex act with someone he believed to be a 15-year old girl. Shadid said Wright's story is even less believable because of his 2012 conviction in state court for the sexual abuse of another 15-year old girl.
Prosecutors said they produced evidence at sentencing that Wright had "protracted online discussions and negotiations" with a minor about engaging in sex act, and that he tried solicit pornographic pictures of the minor.
“This very significant sentence imposed by Judge Shadid again demonstrates that those who desire and take steps to sexually harm people they believe to be children will be severally punished,” Acting United States Attorney Doug Quivey said in a statement.
Wright faces a lifetime of supervised release when his prison sentence is done.