Man who traveled across states to have sex with 12-year-old from Instagram sentenced to prison

An undercover employee with the FBI assumed the 12-year-old’s identity and started...
An undercover employee with the FBI assumed the 12-year-old’s identity and started communicating with Zukoski via the Instagram account.(MGN)
Published: Jul. 15, 2022 at 3:29 PM EDT

KANSAS CITY, Mo. (KCTV/Gray News) – A man from Ohio who traveled to Kansas City, Missouri to have sex with a 12-year-old girl he saw on Instagram will spend a decade in prison after unknowingly messaging her mother and an FBI employee.

The U.S. Department of Justice said 35-year-old Timothy M. Zukoski from Southington, Ohio, was sentenced to 10 years in federal prison without parole for enticing a minor to engage in illegal sexual activity.

He pleaded guilty to that crime in February.

The court also sentenced him to 10 years of supervised release and ordered him to pay $5,000 in restitution to each of four child pornography victims.

According to KCTV, Zukoski admitted he started communicating with a girl he thought was 12 years old via Instagram on Oct. 21, 2020.

That Instagram account, however, was one that a mother had set up for her daughter. She contacted the FBI when she learned that Zukoski was trying to communicate with her daughter.

At that point, an undercover employee with the FBI assumed the 12-year-old’s identity and started communicating with Zukoski via the Instagram account.

Zukoski started making plans to travel to the Kansas City area so he could meet the girl for sex.

He made plans with the undercover employee to stay in KC while the girl’s mother was supposedly out of town over the Thanksgiving weekend. He also suggested the girl could come live with him in Ohio.

When he arrived in KC on Nov. 27, 2020, he was arrested.

Authorities found “numerous” child pornography pictures on his phone.

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