Lansing man sentenced to life in prison for sexual exploitation of children

The Michigan Sexual Assault Hotline offers anonymous assistance and support without judgement. It can be reached at 855-864-2374.
Robert Duane Wicke
Robert Duane Wicke(WILX)
Published: Sep. 14, 2022 at 6:48 PM EDT|Updated: Sep. 14, 2022 at 7:04 PM EDT
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GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WILX) - A 60-year-old man from Lansing was sentenced to life in prison for attempting to coerce and entice children in sexual activities.

Robert Duane Wicke was also sentenced to 60 years on three counts of distributing child pornography and 20 years for possessing child pornography.

U.S. District Judge Jane M. Beckering said Wicke’s conduct was among the worst she had ever seen in her tenure as a judge.

According to authorities, an FBI agent was working undercover in a messaging application that is reportedly used by individuals interested in sexually abusing children. The agent posed as a mother in California with two daughters. Authorities said Wicke sought out children to abuse and wanted the mother to bring her 7-year-old and 9-year-old daughters to him so he could assault them and train them to be sex slaves.

Court documents said Wicke’s chats with the undercover FBI were “depraved and graphic” and reportedly sent videos of children being abused that he wanted shared with the daughters as “part of a grooming effort to desensitize the children to sex.”

When Wicke traveled from Lansing to Grand Rapids in March as a part of a plan to fly the mother and children to Michigan, he was greeted by federal law enforcement, who found a collection of child pornography on his electronic devices.

The Michigan Sexual Assault Hotline offers anonymous assistance and support without judgement. It can be reached at 855-864-2374.

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