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Public Safety

Clarence man convicted of attempting to entice minor in sex act

He faces mandatory minimum of 10 years in prison

CEDAR RAPIDS — A 34-year-old Clarence man pleaded guilty Thursday to attempting to entice a minor into prostitution or another illegal sexual act.

Jason Koontz was convicted in U.S. District Court of one count of attempted enticement of a minor.

During the hearing, he admitted to knowing the victim was under 18 in July 2017 and that he intended to “persuade, induce or entice” that individual into illegal sexual activity.

Koontz also admitted he used a cellphone or the internet to carry out the activity.

U.S. District Magistrate Mark Roberts told Koontz he faces a mandatory minimum of 10 years in prison and possibly up to life. He also could be fined up to $250,000 and to serve five years of supervised release following prison.

The sentencing judge also may order Koontz to pay victim restitution.

Koontz, who remains in jail pending sentencing, will have to register as a sex offender, Roberts added.

Sentencing will be set after a presentencing report is completed by the U.S. Probation Office.

This case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Mark Tremmel and was investigated by the Iowa Division of Criminal Investigation and Homeland Security Investigations.

The case was brought as part of Project Safe Childhood, a nationwide initiative launched in May 2006 by the Department of Justice to combat child sexual exploitation and abuse.

• Comments: (319) 398-8318; trish.mehaffey@thegazette.com

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