The following is a press release issued by the U.S. Attorney's Office for the District of Nebraska on Friday, August 19, 2022.
Acting United States Attorney Steven Russell announced that John J. Stratman, 73, of Sioux Falls, South Dakota, was sentenced on August 18, 2022, in federal court in Omaha, Nebraska, for travelling with intent to engage in illicit sexual conduct with a minor. United States District Judge Brian C. Buescher sentenced Stratman to 135 months’ imprisonment. There is no parole in the federal system. After his release from prison, Stratman will begin a 7-year term of supervised release and will be required to register as a sex offender. Judge Buescher ordered Stratman to pay a $20,000 fine and a $5,000 special assessment. Stratman forfeited a 2019 Buick Enclave.
On October 1, 2021, Stratman contacted an individual he believed had access to 15-year-old female that Stratman could meet for sex. The individual Stratman contacted was working as an undercover law enforcement officer. From October 1, 2021, through January 4, 2022, Stratman and the undercover law enforcement officer communicated through the use of cell phones regarding the arrangement of sexual activity with the 15-year-old. During the cell phone communications, Stratman was primarily located in South Dakota and the undercover law enforcement officer was located in Omaha, Nebraska.
On January 2, 2022, Stratman booked a hotel room in Omaha which he intended to be used to meet with the 15-year-old. On January 4, 2022, Stratman traveled from South Dakota to Omaha, Nebraska, for purposes of engaging in sexual activity with the 15-year-old. After arriving in Omaha, Stratman communicated with the undercover law enforcement officer informing him he was ready to meet. When the undercover law enforcement officer arrived at the hotel, Stratman had gifts including candy and flowers he purchased for the 15-year-old. Stratman also paid the law enforcement officer $200 in cash for sexual activity he intended to have with the 15-year-old.
This case was brought as part of Project Safe Childhood, a nationwide initiative to combat the growing epidemic of child sexual exploitation and abuse launched in May 2006 by the Department of Justice. Led by United States Attorneys’ Offices and the Criminal Division's Child Exploitation and Obscenity Section (CEOS), Project Safe Childhood marshals federal, state and local resources to better locate, apprehend and prosecute individuals who exploit children via the Internet, as well as to identify and rescue victims. For more information about Project Safe Childhood, please visit www.projectsafechildhood.gov.
This case was investigated by the Omaha FBI's Child Exploitation and Human Trafficking Task Force