Master’s Degree Student Pleads Guilty to Attempting to Entice a Minor
A Rome, New York, man pleaded guilty today to charges of attempted coercion and enticement of a minor to engage in unlawful sexual activity.
Assistant Attorney General Leslie R. Caldwell 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, pleaded guilty before U.S. District Judge Liam O’Grady of the Eastern District of Virginia. Sentencing is scheduled for May 12, 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 a Craigslist ad, expressing an interest in sex with children. When an undercover Fairfax County police officer replied to the ad, portraying himself as the father of two children, five and seven years old, Perez-Torres discussed performing graphic sexual acts on the children. On Feb. 18, 2016, after weeks of corresponding with the officer via sexually explicit emails, text messages and telephone calls, the defendant traveled 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 are prosecuting 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.