Man pleads guilty to 2 counts of attempted sexual exploitation of local minors

Sawyer will face a maximum of 30 years if the court accepts his plea

federal courthouse springfield
U.S. District Court in Springfield is seen here in a WWLP file image.

BOSTON (WWLP) – An Illinois man pleaded guilty on Wednesday to two counts of attempted sexual exploitation of minor’s in Springfield’s federal court.

The United States Attorney’s office said in 2010, 32-year-old Zack Sawyer used X-Box Live to contact two 13-year-old boys in Hampshire County, and asked them both to send him nude photos.

When both boys refused, Sawyer threatened to drug, rape, and kill them both. Sawyer also admitted to leading on a third minor in Loudon County, Va., to pose for a sexually explicit picture over the internet.

Sawyer also sent a sexually explicit photo of himself to the minor and kept asking the boy for sexually explicit videos.

Sawyer will face a minimum sentence of 15 years and a maximum of 30 years in prison if his guilty plea is accepted by the court. He will also face a mandatory minimum of five years, a maximum of a lifetime of supervised release and a fine of $250,000 and restitution.

Sawyer’s sentencing is scheduled for September 21.