CALIFORNIA MAN PLEADS GUILTY TO ONLINE
ENTICEMENT OF A WEST MICHIGAN CHILD
GRAND RAPIDS, MICHIGAN – Joseph Arpin, 34, pled guilty yesterday in federal court to online enticement of a West Michigan child. Arpin stated at the plea hearing that he met the 12-year-old victim online, he assumed a false identity to entice her, and he moved across the country from California to Michigan to start a sexual relationship with her. Arpin faces a minimum prison term of 10 years, up to a maximum term of life. His sentencing hearing is set for September 3, 2014.
In addition to the online enticement from July to October 2013, the indictment also charged Arpin with traveling from California to Allegan County, MI, to engage in illicit sexual conduct with the child and then transporting her from Michigan to Missouri for the purpose of engaging in criminal sexual conduct. He was arrested in Missouri on October 22, 2013, and has been in custody ever since. In exchange for the plea to online enticement, the government agreed to dismiss the other two counts. Neither of the dismissed counts carried a higher possible penalty than the online enticement count to which Arpin pled guilty.
“We will make every effort to investigate, locate, and prosecute predators who use the internet to lure children into danger,” said U.S. Attorney Patrick Miles.
The charges are the result of an investigation conducted by the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), the Allegan County Sheriff’s Office, the Holland Police Department, and the St. Louis County Police Department. Assistant United States Attorney Tessa K. Hessmiller is the prosecutor on the case.
This case is part of Project Safe Childhood, a nationwide initiative designed to protect children from exploitation and abuse. The U.S. Attorney's Office; county prosecutor's offices; the Internet Crimes Against Children task force (ICAC); and federal, state, and local law enforcement are working closely together to locate, apprehend, and prosecute individuals who exploit children. The partners in Project Safe Childhood work to educate communities about the dangers of online child exploitation and to teach children how to protect themselves. For more information about Project Safe Childhood, please visit www.projectsafechildhood.gov. Individuals with information or concerns about possible child exploitation should contact local law enforcement.