EAST ST. LOUIS, Ill. – A St. Clair County man is in federal custody today on a trio of crimes
involving sex with an underage girl in the Philippines. Joseph Albert Fuchs, III, 53, of Cahokia,
Illinois, is accused of knowingly traveling from his home in St. Clair County to the Philippines in
February 2018 for the purpose of engaging in a sexual act with a 14-year old girl.
The three-count indictment was returned by a federal grand jury earlier this month and charges that
Fuchs engaged in illicit sexual conduct with the victim in the Philippines while knowing that she
was under 16 years old. The indictment further alleges that Fuchs enticed the girl to have sex with
him through a series of Facebook chats from Nov. 2, 2017, to July 17, 2019, as well as by sending
her more than $1,000 in PayPal and Xoom payments during that time.
On Thursday, Fuchs appeared before United States Magistrate Judge Gilbert C. Sison and entered a
not guilty plea. He is being held in custody pending a detention hearing on Monday at 10:00 a.m.
Trial is currently scheduled to begin on June 15.
If convicted of the enticement charge, Fuchs faces at least 10 years and up to life in prison. The
other two charges carry maximum prison terms of 30 years each. All three charges are
also punishable by a fine of up to $250,000.
An indictment is merely an allegation and all defendants are presumed innocent until proven guilty
beyond a reasonable doubt in a court of law.
The case is being investigated by Homeland Security Investigations-Springfield. Assistant U.S.
Attorneys Alexandria Burns and Nathan D. Stump are prosecuting the case.
This case was brought as part of Project Safe Childhood, a nationwide initiative launched in 2006
by the Department of Justice to combat the growing epidemic of child sexual exploitation and abuse.
Led by the United States Attorneys’ Offices and the Criminal Division’s Child Exploitation and
Obscenity Section, Project Safe Childhood marshals federal, state, and local resources
to locate, apprehend, and prosecute individuals who sexually exploit children, and to identify and
rescue victims. For more information about Project Safe Childhood,
please visit www.usdoj.gov/psc. For more information about internet safety
education, please visit www.usdoj.gov/psc and click on the tab “resources.”