John Alan Mahler, 37, of College Station, Texas, was sentenced Monday to 22 years in prison followed by 15 years supervised release, for sexual exploitation of a child.

U.S. Attorney Bart M. Davis announced the sentencing in a news release. Mahler was sentenced by U.S. District Court Judge B. Lynn Winmill in U.S. District Court in Pocatello. Mahler pleaded guilty Jan. 8..

According to court records, between June and October 2017, Mahler communicated with a 15-year old minor child from eastern Idaho, the release said. He used a variety of internet-based communication platforms, including Google Hangouts and Kik Messenger. During the online communications, Mahler "sent numerous messages attempting to persuade, induce, and entice the minor child to engage in sexual activity," the release said. Mahler engaged in video calls with the minor child and instructed the child to engage in sexually explicit conduct. Additionally, during the video calls, Mahler exposed his genitalia to the child.

At sentencing, Judge Winmill ordered Mahler to forfeit the laptop computer and cellphones used in the commission of the offense. Mahler will be required to register as a sex offender.

The case was investigated by Homeland Security Investigations in Idaho Falls and the Pocatello Police Department.

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