Lerin E. Hughes, 25, of Springfield was found guilty of two counts of Cyberstalking by a federal jury. Sentencing is scheduled for November 30, 2023, at 1:30 p.m. before U.S. District Judge Colleen R. Lawless at the U.S. Courthouse in Springfield.
During the two-day trial, evidence presented showed Hughes repeatedly made threatening Facebook posts toward an Illinois Department of Children and Family Services (DCFS) employee and a DCFS-contracted caseworker investigating child abuse and neglect allegations. The cyberstalking incidents occurred over four months during the summer of 2022, involving threatening text messages, emails, and attempts to access the caseworker's personal Facebook page. Death threats were also issued against the child protection workers.
The Federal Bureau of Investigation, Springfield Field Office, and Sangamon County Sheriff's Department collaborated in the investigation.
Hughes, currently in custody of the United States Marshal Service, could face up to five years in prison, three years of supervised release, a $250,000 fine, and restitution.
Assistant U.S. Attorneys Sarah E. Seberger and Sierra Senor Moore represented the government during the trial. The verdict highlights the severity of cyberstalking and reinforces commitment to community safety.