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Geneseo man pleads guilty to five federal counts of sexual exploitation of a minor
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Geneseo man pleads guilty to five federal counts of sexual exploitation of a minor

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A Geneseo man faces a mandatory minimum 15 years in federal prison, and maximum term of 150 years, after pleading guilty to five counts of sexual exploitation of a minor during a hearing Thursday in U.S. District Court, Rock Island.

Tristan Scott Blank, 24, admitted to U.S. District Chief Judge Sara Darrow that he pretended to be a woman to entice minors to send him sexually explicit photos and videos online.

Blank was arrested by Geneseo Police in November 2018.

During the investigation it was learned that Blank used the female persona to entice more than 20 victims to send him nude photographs and videos. Blank then threatened to distribute the images if the victims did not continue sending images or perform sexual acts with him.

When arrested, Blank initially was charged in Henry County Circuit Court with four counts of child pornography-soliciting a photo, two counts of child pornography-producing or selling, two counts of child pornography-possession of film or photos, two counts of grooming, two counts of traveling to meet a minor, one count of indecent solicitation of a child and one count of criminal sexual abuse, and one count of distributing explicit matter to a minor.

Federal authorities took over the case July 22, 2019, charging Blank with five counts of sexual exploitation of a minor.

Blank is scheduled to be sentenced May 12 in U.S. District Court, Rock Island.

Blank remains in the custody of the U.S. Marshals Service.

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