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Box Elder man gets 24 years in prison, lifetime supervision for sexting Rapid City girl
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Box Elder man gets 24 years in prison, lifetime supervision for sexting Rapid City girl

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A Box Elder man convicted of previous sex offenses was sentenced to more than 24 years in prison and a lifetime of supervised release for sending explicit messages and photos to an 11-year-old Rapid City girl over a social media app.

John Carl Sanders, 46, was sentenced last week at the federal court in Rapid City to 24.4 years in prison after pleading guilty to being a registered sex offender who enticed a minor on the internet.

Prosecutors dropped a second identical charge as part of the plea deal.

Sanders, a registered sex offender for crimes committed in Missouri in 2001 and 2013, will spend the rest of his life on supervised release after completing his prison sentence, according to a news release from the U.S. Attorney's Office in South Dakota.

It's unclear when and why Sanders moved to Box Elder but the South Dakota Department of Corrections agreed to supervise him while he finished a Missouri parole sentence, according to court records.

Sanders communicated with the girl between Dec. 19-22, 2018, on Skout, an app used for dating and finding friends, according to the factual basis document he signed. Skout contacted the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children (NCMEC) about their communications, and NCMEC sent a report to South Dakota law enforcement.

The girl's photos show she "is clearly under 18, which would have been obvious to Sanders," the factual basis says. She also asked Sanders to guess how old she was and he correctly guessed she was 11.

But Sanders sent the girl explicit images of himself and asked her to do the same, the document says. He also expressed interest in meeting the girl in person.

Law enforcement conducted a search warrant of Sanders' home in February 2019 and seized multiple electronic devices, the factual basis says. Sanders also admitted he requested illicit images of the girl despite knowing she was 11.

The girl was interviewed but denied she was the person chatting with Sanders, the factual basis says. She then left the interview room and had an emotional breakdown. The girl's mother was able to identify her as the victim.

— Contact Arielle Zionts at arielle.zionts@rapidcityjournal.com

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