Mexican Citizen Sentenced to 188 Months’ Imprisonment for Sexually Assaulting an Undocumented Alien Minor While Smuggling Her from Texas to New York
Juan Carlos Escobar Gonzalez was sentenced today to 188 months of imprisonment for raping an undocumented 17-year-old El Salvadoran girl in the back of a van at a rest stop in New Jersey while transporting her from Texas to her family in New York. The sentence will run consecutively to the 57-month sentence the defendant received in an alien smuggling case in the Eastern District of Texas in May 2010. The sentencing proceeding was held today before United States District Judge Sterling Johnson, Jr., at the U.S. Courthouse in Brooklyn, New York. The defendant was convicted after trial in November 2011 of interstate transportation of a minor with intent to engage in illegal sexual activity, interstate travel with intent to engage in illicit sexual conduct with a minor, and alien smuggling.
The sentence was announced by Loretta E. Lynch, United States Attorney for the Eastern District of New York. The prosecution resulted from a joint investigation conducted by the Federal Bureau of Investigation and Nassau County Police Department, Special Victims Unit.
The evidence at trial established that in May 2008, the defendant smuggled the minor victim and several other undocumented aliens in a van from Texas to various destinations in the Northeast. After the other passengers were dropped off, the defendant drove the victim to a rest stop in New Jersey and raped her in the back of the van. The defendant then drove the victim to her uncle in Long Island. The victim immediately told her uncle what had happened, and they recorded the license plate of the van before the defendant drove away. The victim’s uncle contacted the police, who placed a “look out” for the van. The victim was taken to a hospital where a forensic sexual examination was conducted.
Approximately one month later, local law enforcement authorities stopped the defendant’s van in Louisiana and detained the defendant. The van was same vehicle in which the defendant had raped the minor victim, and the defendant was again transporting undocumented aliens at the time he was stopped. DNA taken from the defendant matched the DNA sample obtained during the earlier forensic examination of the victim.
“The victim, a young girl alone in a country not her own, trusted the defendant to reunite her with her family. He abused that trust, taking advantage of her isolation and undocumented status. Today, the defendant has been justly punished for this heinous crime,” stated United States Attorney Lynch. “This Office is committed to ensuring that there is no safe haven for those who seek to exploit and prey upon innocent children.” Ms. Lynch expressed her grateful appreciation to the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the Nassau County Police Department, Special Victims Unit, for their assistance in this investigation.
The government’s case is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Marisa Seifan.
Name: JUAN CARLOS ESCOBAR GONZALEZ
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