Edgard Enrique Le Pleads Guilty in U.S. Federal Court
The United States Attorney's Office announced that during a federal court session in Missoula, on February 14, 2013, before U.S. District Judge Dana L. Christensen, EDGARD ENRIQUE LE, a 29-year-old resident of Escondido, California, pled guilty to transportation with intent to engage in criminal sexual activity. Sentencing has been set for May 23, 2013. He is currently detained.
In an Offer of Proof filed by Assistant U.S. Attorney Cyndee L. Peterson, the government stated it would have proved at trial the following:
The victim was born in 1999. In February 2012, the victim resided in Flathead County. At that time, LE resided in California. LE engaged in an online romantic relationship with the 12-year-old victim. Electronic records show conversations about the victim and LE being in love, that they were "engaged" and that they were going to get married. LE used his cell phone to communicate with the victim.
In early February 2012, LE drove from California to the victim's residence in Flathead County. On February 13 and 14, 2012, LE transported the victim in an automobile out of the State of Montana. The intended destination was LE's residence in California. Prior to reaching his residence, the vehicle they were riding in was stopped by law enforcement southwest of the Nevada/California border in California. During an interview with law enforcement, LE stated that his intent was to take the victim to California with him to live. Once in California, LE intended to have a physical and romantic relationship with the victim that included sex acts.
LE faces possible penalties of a mandatory minimum of 10 years in prison and could be sentenced to life, a $250,000 fine, and lifetime supervision.
The investigation was a cooperative effort between the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the Internet Crimes Against Children (ICAC) Task Force, and the Flathead County Sheriff's Office.