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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
Eastern District of Tennessee

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Friday, May 24, 2013

German Rolando Vicente-Sapon Sentenced To Serve 15 Years In Prison For Transporting A Minor Across The Mexican Border For Unlawful Sexual Activity

Vicente had faced a 10-year mandatory minimum

CHATTANOOGA, Tenn. – On Thursday, May 23, 2013, German Rolando Vicente-Sapon, 41, of Guatemala, was sentenced by the Honorable Curtis Collier, U.S. District Judge, to serve 188 months in federal prison.

Following a three-day trial, a jury convicted Vicente-Sapon in November 2012 for transporting a minor across the Mexican border for unlawful sexual activity and two additional smuggling charges, also involving the minor who was an alien from Guatemala. According to proof presented at trial, the victim was 16 years old and facing an arranged marriage in Guatemala when Vicente-Sapon, who was then in his thirties, offered to help her come to the United States for a better life. Testimony showed that Vicente-Sapon paid $2000 for others to smuggle her to Chattanooga, Tenn. Once she arrived, he coerced her into having sexual relations with him and she relented, believing she had no other choice.

During the sentencing hearing, Vicente-Sapon claimed that he had fallen in love with the girl, a statement that Judge Collier found unbelievable.

Agencies involved in this investigation included Homeland Security Investigations and the Federal Bureau of Investigation. Jay Woods, Assistant United States Attorney, represented the United States.

Updated March 18, 2015