Charges in Effingham County against Altamont resident Steven Larson have been withdrawn. The reason for the local charges being withdrawn is that Larson was sentenced at the federal level, and the federal charge resulted in a longer sentence than could have come from any of the charges in Effingham County. The 61-year-old Larson was sentenced to 9 years in federal prison for Transportation with Intent to Engage in Criminal Sexual Activity with a Minor.
The incident involving Larson occurred on January 31st when he was supposed to take a then 13-year-old girl to her karate lesson. The two never arrived at the lesson. They were instead found during the early morning hours of February 1st at a Sikeston, Missouri hotel. Larson was charged in Effingham County with Kidnapping and Indecent Solicitation of a Child. Effingham County State’s Attorney Bryan Kibler explained that these were the most severe charges filed because no evidence suggested that Larson committed any sexual acts in Illinois.
Speaking further about the decision to withdraw the local charges, Kibler explained that because of the length of the federal sentence it would be an inefficient use of resources to use the manpower and tax dollars necessary to extradite Larson from federal custody.
Kibler also noted other factors about the withdrawal, including the fact that substantial amounts of evidence are in possession of Federal authorities in Missouri and that Larson is required to register as a sex offender for life due to his conviction. Additionally, the decision to withdraw Larson’s charges in Effingham County was supported by the minor’s parents.
“We did a complete investigation into this matter in hopes of obtaining more prison time for Larson,” Kibler said. “Unfortunately, as Illinois law is written, Larson cannot receive any more time in addition to his Federal sentence.”