Valpo man, a former priest, gets 10 years for child enticement

2012-08-07T17:30:00Z 2012-08-08T00:01:13Z Valpo man, a former priest, gets 10 years for child enticementSarah Tompkins sarah.tompkins@nwi.com, (219) 836-3780 nwitimes.com

HAMMOND | A 71-year-old Valparaiso man and former priest was sentenced to 10 years in prison Tuesday for trying to seduce a 15-year-old boy.

Wayne E. Wigglesworth was indicted in 2009 on two child enticement-related charges. According to court documents, Chicago police pulled Wigglesworth over for failing to use his turn signal. They found a young boy with him in the car, and Wigglesworth could not tell police the boy's name or why the teenager was with him, according to the complaint.

The teenager told police he met Wigglesworth in a chat room and the two would text each other every three or four days. According to court records, Wigglesworth texted the boy about meeting to engage in oral sex and "hold and hug each other."

In January 2010, Wigglesworth changed his plea to guilty as part of a plea deal. He had faced up to life in prison and a $250,000 fine, but with the benefit of the plea agreement both his attorney and the government agreed to recommend a 10-year prison sentence. That was the statutory mandatory minimum sentence for the crime.

Prosecutors agreed to drop an interstate commerce charge linked to Wigglesworth's trip to Chicago to meet the boy in exchange for his guilty plea to the enticement charge. Prosecutors also agreed not to file any additional charges against him related to the case.

The courtroom was empty at the Tuesday morning sentencing hearing, and the father of three declined to say anything on his own behalf. The small, white-haired man stared down at his table and answered the judge's questions in a soft voice.

Wigglesworth was a priest in Maryland decades ago when he met his late wife, who was a teenager at the time, Assistant U.S. Attorney Jill Koster said at a previous hearing. His late wife left him in 2007 after finding pedophilia-themed material on his compute. She later suffered serious injuries from being struck by a drunken driver.

Senior Judge James Moody said Wigglesworth would be about 79 years old before he would be eligible to be released.

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