San Francisco Man Pleads Guilty to Attempted Sexual Exploitation of a Minor in Mexico
SAN FRANCISCO - Gary Hardeman pleaded guilty in federal court in San Francisco today to committing a felony offense involving a minor while under a duty to register as a sex offender, United States Attorney Melinda Haag announced.
In pleading guilty, Hardeman admitted to traveling from San Francisco to Mexico City, Mexico, and attempting to engage in sexual acts with a 13-year-old girl between December 13 and 17, 2007. At the time of the offense, Hardeman was required by California law to register as a sex offender, based on his previous convictions for sex offenses in California.
Hardeman, 58 of San Francisco, was indicted by a federal Grand Jury on November 23, 2010. He was charged with one count of engaging in illicit sexual conduct in foreign places, in violation of 18 U.S.C. § 2423(c), and one count of committing this crime while under a legal obligation to register as a sex offender, in violation of 18 U.S.C. § 2260A. Under the plea agreement, Hardeman pled guilty to the second of these two counts.
“As this case shows, those who engage in crimes involving the sexual exploitation of minors cannot escape justice by traveling beyond our borders,” said Clark Settles, Special Agent in charge for Homeland Security Investigations, San Francisco. “Protecting young people both here and abroad from sexual predators continues to be a top priority for HSI. We are putting these predators on notice that HSI and its law enforcement partners stand ready to pursue and prosecute those who prey on innocent children. ”
Hardeman, who is currently in custody, will be sentenced on October 22, 2013, by The Honorable Richard Seeborg, U.S. District Court Judge, in San Francisco. The mandatory statutory penalty for a violation of 18 U.S.C. § 2260A is ten years and a maximum fine of $250,000, plus restitution. However, any sentence will be imposed by the court only after consideration of the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines and the federal statute governing the imposition of a sentence, 18 U.S.C. § 3553.
Owen Martikan and Janaki Gandhi are the Assistant U.S. Attorneys who are prosecuting the case with the assistance of Hui Chen. The prosecution is the result of a multi-year investigation by the Department of Homeland Security, Homeland Security Investigations, in the United States and Mexico.