Former Lansing police officer, school board member enters plea in attempted sex case involving minor
A former Lansing police officer and school board member today pleaded “no contest” in federal court to attempting to entice a minor for illicit sex.
William Brian Duncan, 40, of Leavenworth, entered his plea before U.S. District Judge Howard F. Sachs to the charges contained in a federal indictment.
Duncan was taken into custody at the conclusion of today’s hearing. He faces a mandatory sentence of 10 years in federal prison without parole but could be sentenced to as much as life in prison.
Federal prosecutors on Jan. 4, 2011, charged Duncan with using the Internet to attempt to entice a minor to engage in sexual activity and with crossing the state line to attempt to engage in a sexual act with a minor.
Beth Phillips, U.S. attorney for the Western District of Missouri, said Duncan acknowledged he had communicated online with a person he had believed to be 14 years old. In reality, Duncan was communicating with an undercover law enforcement officer. Duncan corresponded with the undercover officer on multiple occasions in December 2010; many of the conversations were sexual in nature.
According to prosecutors, Duncan began making arrangements to meet with the minor in person during an online chat on Tuesday, Dec. 28, 2010. The next day, Duncan drove to the meeting location in Missouri with the intent to engage in sex with the 14-year-old minor, the government contends. When Duncan approached the location, he was pulled over by a Kansas City, Mo., police officer and arrested.
Duncan had been an officer with the Lansing Police Department until November 2010. He had been a DARE officer and coordinator of the Safe Kids program and was named Officer of the Year in 2008. Duncan resigned from the Lansing School Board in November 2010.
Under federal statutes, Duncan is subject to a mandatory sentence of 10 years in federal prison without parole, up to a sentence of life in federal prison without parole, plus a fine up to $500,000. The U.S. Probation Office will complete of a presentence investigation, at which time a sentencing hearing will be scheduled.
Assistant U.S. Attorney Teresa Moore and Senior Litigation Counsel Gregg R. Coonrod are prosecuting the case, which was investigated by the FBI Cyber Crimes Task Force.