Graduate Student Sentenced for Attempting to Entice Minors
A Rome, New York, man was sentenced today to 120 months in prison for attempted coercion and enticement of a minor to engage in unlawful sexual activity.
Acting Assistant Attorney General Kenneth A. Blanco of the Justice Department’s Criminal Division; U.S. Attorney Dana J. Boente of the Eastern District of Virginia; and Colonel Edwin C. Roessler Jr., Chief of the Fairfax County, Virginia, Police Department made the announcement.
Julio Perez-Torres, 26, was sentenced today by U.S. District Judge Liam O’Grady of the Eastern District of Virginia who also ordered him to serve 20 years of supervised release. Perez-Torres previously pleaded guilty on Jan. 13, 2017.
According to admissions made in connection with his plea agreement, in early February 2016, Perez-Torres, a master’s degree candidate at American University, posted an online advertisement expressing interest in sex with children. When an undercover Fairfax County police officer replied to the ad, portraying himself as the father of two children, ages five and seven, Perez-Torres discussed performing graphic sexual acts on the children. On Feb. 18, 2016, after weeks of corresponding with the undercover officer via emails, text messages and telephone calls containing sexually explicit content, Perez-Torres traveled across state lines to meet the undercover officer with the intent to engage in sexual acts with the children. Perez-Torres was arrested at that time.
Trial Attorney James E. Burke IV of the Criminal Division’s Child Exploitation and Obscenity Section (CEOS) and Assistant U.S. Attorney Kellen Dwyer of the Eastern District of Virginia prosecuted the case.
This investigation was a part of Project Safe Childhood, a nationwide initiative to combat the growing epidemic of child sexual exploitation and abuse launched in May 2006 by the Department of Justice. Led by U.S. Attorneys’ Offices and 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.