A Rockville, Maryland man pleaded guilty today to exploiting a 12-year-old Virginia girl by using the Internet to coerce and entice her to engage in illegal sexual activity.
Acting Assistant Attorney General John P. Cronan of the Justice Department’s Criminal Division, Acting U.S. Attorney Tracy Doherty-McCormick of the Eastern District of Virginia and Special Agent in Charge Patrick J. Lechleitner of U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s Homeland Security Investigations (ICE-HSI), Washington, D.C., made the announcement after the plea was accepted by U.S. District Judge Anthony J. Trenga of the Eastern District of Virginia.
Jose Adalberto Sandoval Quinonez, 26, pleaded guilty to one count of coercion and enticement of a minor to engage in sexual activity. According to admissions made in connection with his guilty plea, Sandoval initiated contact with the 12-year-old victim over Instagram and the two later began chatting over Google Hangouts. Over the course of several months in 2017, Sandoval used Google Hangouts to groom, persuade, and entice the minor to engage in sex acts, including sexual intercourse. In addition, he repeatedly asked her to produce and send him sexually explicit photos of herself, and he succeeded in persuading her to send him such a photo. Sandoval also sent the victim an image of his penis. During these interactions, Sandoval, who was 25 at the time, pretended to be 16 years old.
Sentencing is scheduled for Aug. 10.
HSI investigated the case with the assistance of the City of Manassas Park Police Department. Trial Attorney Kyle P. Reynolds of the Criminal Division’s Child Exploitation and Obscenity Section (CEOS) and Assistant U.S. Attorney Whitney D. Russell of the Eastern District of Virginia are prosecuting the case.
This case was brought as part of Project Safe Childhood, a nationwide initiative launched in May 2006 by the Department of Justice to combat the growing epidemic of child sexual exploitation and abuse. Led by U.S. Attorneys’ Offices and CEOS, Project Safe Childhood marshals federal, state and local resources to better locate, apprehend and prosecute individuals who exploit children via the Internet, as well as to identify and rescue victims. For more information about Project Safe Childhood, please visit www.justice.gov/psc.
Official news published at https://www.justice.gov/opa/pr/maryland-man-pleads-guilty-exploiting-12-year-old-girl-over-internet