EAST ST. LOUIS, Ill. (AP) - A southwestern Illinois man faces up to 15 years in federal prison now that he's admitted to paying undercover investigators $1,500 in hopes of having sex with a seven year old girl.
The Belleville News-Democrat reports that 65 year old David Driskill of Carrollton has pleaded guilty in East St. Louis to commercial sex trafficking. Sentencing is scheduled for Oct. 7.
Authorities say Driskill sent text messages in May to a woman, offering to pay $3,000 if she could arrange for to have sex with a child between 7 and 11 years old. The woman instead notified authorities and cooperated with them.
Driskill was arrested days later at a Jerseyville apartment after paying an undercover federal investigator $1,500 for the supposed sexual encounter with a girl.
A 2007 Missouri Supreme Court ruling had banned prosecutors in child sex abuse cases from using "propensity evidence," which is often used to show a suspect has a proclivity to do the alleged crime. The ruling made Missouri the most restrictive state in the nation by banning such evidence as prior convictions.
Representative John McCaherty, a High Ridge Republican, filed a bill that would allow prosecutors to use prior convictions, along with findings by the state Children's Services Division indicating that sexual abuse of a child did occur, even if there were no charges filed.
The measure has already cleared the House and is now in the hands of the Senate.