United States Attorney Benjamin B. Wagner
Eastern District of California
Firebaugh Boys and Girls Club Employee Indicted for Enticement of a Minor
|FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE||
Thursday, October 24, 2013
FRESNO, Calif. — Juan Martin Torres, 25, the head of the Firebaugh Boys and Girls Club, was indicted today on charges of enticing a minor to engage in unlawful sexual activity, United States Attorney Benjamin B. Wagner announced.
According to court documents, on October 3, 2013, a 14-year-old victim reported to the police that Torres was harassing him through an Internet messaging service. The victim had been working community service hours at the Boys and Girls Club and Torres supervised him. Torres began the chats in April 2013. Torres, who has been employed at the club for approximately seven years, is alleged to have offered to give the victim credit for community service in exchange for engaging in sexual acts.
This case is the product of an investigation by the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations (HSI), the Fresno County Sheriff’s Office, and the Firebaugh Police Department. Assistant U.S. Attorney Michael G. Tierney is prosecuting the case.
“Those who exploit their access to children to gratify their own perverse sexual desires are on notice that there will be serious consequences for those actions,” said Mike Prado, resident agent in charge for HSI Fresno. “When individuals who are entrusted to serve as role models for our children violate that trust, there will be zero tolerance. HSI will continue to work closely with its local law enforcement partners to target those involved in the sexual exploitation of children to ensure they are held accountable for their crimes.”
Torres made an initial appearance on the charges on October 11, 2013. He was released on bond. He is scheduled to be arraigned on Friday, October 25, 2013, before U.S. Magistrate Judge Barbara A. McAuliffe at 1:30 p.m.
If Torres is convicted, he faces a minimum statutory penalty of 10 years in prison, and a maximum statutory penalty of life in prison, along with a $250,000 fine. Any sentence, however, would be determined at the discretion of the court after consideration of any applicable statutory sentencing factors and the Federal Sentencing Guidelines, which take into account a number of variables. The charges are only allegations; the defendant is presumed innocent until and unless proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt.