MADISON, WIS. – Scott C. Blader, United States Attorney for the Western District of Wisconsin, announced that a complaint has been filed charging a Texas man with using a means of interstate commerce, specifically email and text messages, to attempt to persuade a minor to engage in sexual activity.  Robert Hosler, 26, Austin, Texas, was charged with this crime in a complaint filed in U.S. District Court in Madison yesterday.  

The complaint filed against Hosler alleges that in August 2018, he responded to an advertisement posted on the Internet, which offered a 13 year old girl for sexual purposes.  The complaint alleges that in response to the ad, he flew from Texas to Minneapolis, rented a car and travelled to a prearranged meeting location in Eau Claire, where he was arrested by law enforcement officers yesterday.  According to the complaint, the advertisement was posted by an undercover law enforcement officer.

Hosler made an initial appearance in federal court in Madison today and was ordered held in federal custody.  His next appearance in federal court will take place on September 20, 2018.

If convicted, Hosler faces a mandatory minimum penalty of 10 years and a maximum of life in federal prison.  The charge against him is the result of an investigation by the Eau Claire Police Department, Wisconsin Department of Justice Division of Criminal Investigation, Federal Bureau of Investigation, Department of Homeland Security, Central Texas Violent Crimes Task Force, Wisconsin State Patrol, and West Central Drug Task Force.  The prosecution of this case is being handled by Assistant U.S. Attorney Elizabeth Altman.

You are advised that a charge is merely an accusation and that a defendant is presumed innocent until and unless proven guilty.

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