News and Press Releases

Canadian Woman Sentenced for Traveling to Virginia for the Purpose of Sexually Abusing Two Children

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
January 10 , 2014

ALEXANDRIA, Va. – Theresa Louisa Goddard, 45, of Vancouver, British Columbia, was sentenced today to 10 years in prison, followed by 20 years of supervised release, for attempting to coerce and entice two children into engaging in illegal sexual activity.

Dana J. Boente, Acting United States Attorney for the Eastern District of Virginia, and Scot R. Rittenberg, Acting Special Agent in Charge of U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), Homeland Security Investigations (HSI), Washington, made the announcement after sentencing by United States District Judge Leonie M. Brinkema.

Theresa Goddard pleaded guilty on October 16, 2013.  According to court documents, Goddard posted a message on a website where individuals can exchange messages, pictures, and videos related to taboo subjects.  In her message, she stated that she was interested in starting an “incest family.”  In June 2013, a special agent with HSI, acting in an undercover capacity, responded to the message, and he began communicating with Goddard using email and live video chats on Skype.

As part of his undercover identity, the HSI agent told Goddard that he had two minor children, a girl and a boy.  The children were fictitious.  During the conversations, Goddard made plans to travel from Vancouver to Virginia in order to sexually abuse and rape both children.  She further stated that she wanted to quit her job in Vancouver and move in with the undercover agent in order to continue sexually abusing his children on a regular basis.

On June 26, 2013, Goddard traveled from Vancouver, British Columbia, to Dulles International Airport in Virginia for the purpose of meeting the special agent and sexually abusing his children.  She was arrested shortly after landing in Virginia. 

This case was investigated by ICE Homeland Security Investigations, with assistance from the Northern Virginia/Washington, DC Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force.  Assistant United States Attorney Matt J. Gardner prosecuted the case on behalf of the United States.

This case was brought as part of Project Safe Childhood, a nationwide initiative launched in May 2006 by the Department of Justice to combat the growing epidemic of child sexual exploitation and abuse.  Led by United States Attorneys’ Offices and the Criminal Division’s Child Exploitation and Obscenity Section (CEOS), Project Safe Childhood marshals federal, state and local resources to better locate, apprehend and prosecute individuals who exploit children via the internet, as well as to identify and rescue victims.  For more information about Project Safe Childhood, please visit www.justice.gov/psc.

This investigation was part of Operation Predator, a nationwide HSI initiative to protect children from sexual predators, including those who travel overseas for sex with minors, Internet child pornographers, criminal alien sex offenders and child sex traffickers.  HSI encourages the public to report suspected child predators and any suspicious activity through its toll-free hotline at 1-866-347-2423 or by completing its online tip form.  Both are staffed around the clock by investigators.  Suspected child sexual exploitation or missing children may be reported to the National Center for Missing & Exploited Children, an Operation Predator partner, via its toll-free 24-hour hotline at 1-800-843-5678.

A copy of this press release may be found on the website of the United States Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of Virginia at http://www.justice.gov/usao/vae.  Related court documents and information may be found on the website of the District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia at http://www.vaed.uscourts.gov or on https://pcl.uscourts.gov.

 

 

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