Originally published on Jan. 28, 2022

MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — A southern Minnesota man was sentenced Friday to life in prison for sexually exploiting a 15-year-old girl and using her to produce child pornography.

The U.S. Attorney’s Office District of Minnesota says 33-year-old Travis Mayer, of Albert Lea, was sentenced to life in prison plus 10 years.

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“For years, this defendant victimized children by sexually exploiting them,” Acting U.S. Attorney Charles J. Kovats said, in a statement. “Despite prior criminal convictions, Mayer continued his pattern of predatory behavior by exploiting, extorting, coercing, and threatening his minor victims. A sentence of life in prison is justified and ensures that he will never again victimize another child.”

According to court documents, Mayer downloaded child pornography from a Russian-based distribution website in 2017. A year later, he sexually exploited a 15-year-old girl online, persuading and coercing her to produce child pornography, which he then distributed.

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Investigators say that Mayer committed these crimes while he was required to register as a sex offender due to a prior third-degree criminal sexual conduct conviction.

Additionally, prosecutors say that Mayer attempted to obstruct justice in 2019 by asking a witness to lie.

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In June, a federal jury convicted Mayer of five counts related to producing, possessing and distributing child pornography, one count of coercion and enticement of a minor, one count of commenting a felony while required to register as a sex offender, and one count of obstruction of justice.