East St. Louis, Ill. – Joseph L. Hughes, a/k/a “Joe King,” 28, of St. Louis, Missouri, has pleaded
guilty to enticement of a minor and two counts of traveling to engage in illicit sexual conduct
with a 14 year-old girl in St. Clair County, Illinois. The offenses were committed between Nov. 21,
2018, and Dec. 8, 2018.
In pleading guilty, Hughes admitted using the name “Joe King” on Facebook Messenger to text with
the girl and arrange visits to her home in Belleville, Illinois, to have sex. Hughes traveled from
Missouri to the girl’s home on two occasions – Nov. 24 and Dec. 8, 2018. Both times, Hughes engaged
in illicit sexual conduct with the girl. He also admitted that the victim told him her age right
away and that he knew that what he did was against the law.
Hughes’ sentencing is scheduled for Jan. 12, 2021, in East St. Louis. He faces 10 years to life in
prison on count one (enticement of a minor) and up to 30 years in prison on counts two and three
(travel with intent to engage in illicit sexual conduct). All three counts also carry a fine of up
to $250,000 and a possible lifetime term of supervised release.
The case was investigated by the Belleville Police Department, the St. Clair County Sheriff’s
Department, the St. Louis County Police Department and the FBI. Assistant United States
Attorney Angela Scott is prosecuting the case.