Albert Lea man to spend life in prison for online child sexual exploitation

Published 7:40 pm Friday, January 28, 2022

An Albert Lea man will spend the rest of his life behind bars after being sentenced Friday in U.S. District Court in Minneapolis for charges of sextortion and child pornography.

Travis Kyle Mayer

A federal jury found Travis Kyle Mayer guilty in June of two counts of production and attempted production of child pornography, one count of distribution of child pornography, one count of possession of child pornography, one count of receipt of child pornography, one count of coercion and enticement of a minor, one count of committing a felony offense involving a minor while required to register as a sex offender and one count obstruction of justice.

According to the evidence presented at trial, in 2017, Mayer downloaded and received child pornography from a Russian-based child pornography distribution website. In 2018, Mayer sexually exploited a 15-year-old girl, through persuasion and coercion, into producing child pornography, which he then possessed and distributed.

This entire time, Mayer was required to register as a sex offender — he was classified as a Level 3 offender, an offender in Minnesota with the highest likelihood of reoffending.

Between June 20, 2019, and Oct. 11, 2019, Mayer attempted to obstruct the administration of justice by requesting a witness to testify falsely regarding the child sexual exploitation investigation.

Judge Wilhelmina Wright in court Friday sentenced Mayer to a combined life plus 10 years sentence:

• Life in prison for the charge of coercion and enticement of a minor

• 600 months for one count of production and attempted production of child pornography to run concurrently with the other counts

• 600 months for a second count of production and attempted production of child pornography to run concurrently with the other counts

• 300 months for one count of distribution of child pornography to run concurrently with the other counts

• 200 months for one count of possession of child pornography to run concurrently with the other counts

• 190 months for receipt of child pornography to be spent concurrently with the other counts

• 120 months for obstruction of justice to run concurrently with the other counts

• 10 years for committing a felony involving a minor while required to register as a sex offender to run consecutive to all other counts

“For years, this defendant victimized children by sexually exploiting them. Despite prior criminal convictions, Mayer continued his pattern of predatory behavior by exploiting, extorting, coercing, and threatening his minor victims,” said Acting United States Attorney Charles J. Kovats. “A sentence of life in prison is justified and ensures that he will never again victimize another child.”

The case was brought as part of Project Safe Childhood, a nationwide initiative to combat the growing epidemic of child sexual exploitation and abuse launched in May 2006 by the Department of Justice. Led by U.S. Attorneys’ Offices and the Criminal Division’s Child Exploitation and Obscenity Section, Project Safe Childhood marshals federal, state and local resources to better locate, apprehend and prosecute individuals who exploit children via the Internet, as well as to identify and rescue victims.

The case was the result of an investigation conducted by the FBI, the Albert Lea Police Department, and the Albany (Oregon) Police Department.