Georgia Man Sentenced to More Than 21 Years in Prison for Sexually Exploiting Minors in Thailand
A Georgia man was sentenced today to 262 months in prison for engaging in sexually explicit conduct with minors and producing images and videos of that conduct during trips to Thailand, and transporting the child pornography into the United States.
Assistant Attorney General Leslie R. Caldwell of the Justice Department’s Criminal Division, U.S. Attorney Florence Nakakuni of the District of Hawaii and Executive Associate Director Peter Edge of the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s Homeland Security Investigations (ICE-HSI) made the announcement.
Ronny Lee Waldrip, 64, of Douglasville, Georgia, pleaded guilty on Nov. 7, 2014, before U.S. Magistrate Judge Richard L. Puglisi to one count of sexual exploitation of a minor outside the United States for the purpose of producing visual depictions of such conduct. Senior U.S. District Court Judge Helen Gillmor of the District of Hawaii presided over Waldrip’s sentencing, and also ordered that he pay $45,000 in restitution.
In connection with his guilty plea, Waldrip admitted that he traveled to Thailand on numerous occasions to engage in sexual conduct with minor females. Specifically, he admitted that he traveled to Thailand in 2010 and 2011 for the purpose of inducing and enticing minors into engaging in sexual acts, and to photographing or recording such conduct without the victims’ knowledge or permission.
Waldrip also admitted that, on Feb. 13, 2012, he traveled from Bangkok to Honolulu knowingly transporting a laptop computer containing images and videos of child pornography, including videos of him engaging in sexual acts with minor females, including three victims who were 14 and 15 years old at the time. Waldrip further admitted to using the Internet to distribute the images and videos of the three minor victims to another U.S. citizen whom Waldrip knew was interested in child pornography.
This case was investigated by ICE-HSI in Honolulu and Bangkok. The Royal Thai Police and the Justice Department’s Office of International Affairs also provided assistance. This case was prosecuted by Trial Attorneys Sarah Chang and Michael Grant of the Criminal Division’s Child Exploitation and Obscenity Section and Assistant U.S. Attorney Ron Johnson of the District of Hawaii.
This case was brought as part of Project Safe Childhood, a nationwide initiative launched in 2006 by the Justice Department to combat the growing epidemic of child sexual exploitation and abuse. Led by U.S. Attorney’s Offices and the Criminal Division’s Child Exploitation and Obscenity Section, 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.projectsafechildhood.gov.