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Man accused of walking 400 miles for underage sex had been arrested before

Weeks before a former Oshkosh man is accused of walking from Indiana to Wisconsin to have sex with a 14-year-old girl, he was arrested in Winnebago County but not charged.

According to incident reports from the Winnebago County Sheriff’s Office, Tommy Lee Jenkins, 32, was found outside a storage unit near Oshkosh and inside one of the units were two children who were naked, “laying on the storage unit floor in the dark.”

Jenkins told investigators he had taken their clothes off because it was raining and he didn’t want them to get hypothermia.

The investigation revealed Jenkins lived with the kids and their mom, who was described as a friend, for about a year-and-a-half and eventually admitted to taking the children late at night without her permission.

According to the documents, he offered conflicting stories about why he had initially taken the kids and his overall intentions.

Deputies arrested him on charges of abduction of a child and disorderly conduct.

The Winnebago County District Attorney’s Office didn’t respond to questions about why Jenkins wasn’t later charged.

Two weeks later, according to federal court documents, Jenkins began communicating with who he thought was a 14-year-old girl, asking for sexual photos and beginning to make plans to engage in sexual activity.

The “girl” was actually a Winnebago County Sheriff’s deputy with the Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force.

Jenkins is being held in the Brown County Jail on charges of using a computer to attempt to persuade, induce or entice a minor to engage in unlawful sexual activity.

If convicted, he faces a mandatory minimum sentence of 10 years and up to a lifetime of imprisonment.

Neena Pacholke

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