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Merrimac man arrested for allegedly seeking sex with 14-year-old
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Merrimac man arrested for allegedly seeking sex with 14-year-old

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A Merrimac man was arrested Monday in Winnebago County after allegedly attempting to establish a relationship with a 14-year-old in order to sexually assault her.

Zachary C. Wood, 45, was arrested as the result of a joint investigation by the Milwaukee Division of the FBI, the U.S. Attorney Office for the Eastern District of Wisconsin and the Winnebago County Sheriff’s Office. The investigation was carried out as part of Operation Kick Boxer, which is part of Project Safe Childhood, a nationwide initiative to combat child exploitation and abuse, according to a release from the attorney’s office Thursday.

According to the press release, Wood was exchanging messages with someone he thought was a 14-year-old girl living in Oshkosh, but was instead communicating with a law enforcement agent as part of Operation Kick Boxer.

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Wood allegedly expressed “repeated interest in engaging in sexual activity with the 14-year-old and children as young as three years old.”

He also sent messages with images depicting child sexual abuse, according to the release.

When Wood arrived in the Eastern District, he was arrested and taken to the Winnebago County Jail. He faces charges of using a computer to entice or induce a minor to engage in unlawful sexual activity and distribution of child sexual abuse imagery, both violations of federal law.

According to the release Wood faces a mandatory minimum sentence of 10 years and lifetime imprisonment if convicted of the charges.

Follow Bridget on Twitter @cookebridget or contact her at 608-745-3513.

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