Accountant Who Solicited Sexually Explicit Photos from Girls in the Philippines Sentenced to 20 Years in Federal Prison
LOS ANGELES – A Simi Valley man was sentenced today to 20 years in federal prison after pleading guilty to child pornography charges and admitting he used social media to solicit girls in the Philippines and Vietnam to send him sexually explicit images of themselves.
Ronald Carey Shirley, 64, of Simi Valley, a CPA who served as the chief financial officer for the California Angels baseball team in the 1990s, was sentenced by United States District Judge John F. Walter. In addition to the 20-year sentence, Shirley will be subject to a lifetime of supervised release after he finishes his prison term.
Shirley pleaded guilty in April to two counts of attempted receipt of child pornography. He was arrested in February by special agents with U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) at Los Angeles International Airport as he prepared to depart for Vietnam to visit minor girls he had communicated with on social media.
As today’s sentencing hearing, Judge Walter found that Shirley travelled to Philippines last November for the purpose of having sex with minors, that he was leaving for Vietnam for the same purpose when he was arrested, and that he had planned to return to the Philippines the coming November for the purpose of having sex with minor girls.
During today’s hearing, Judge Walter quoted from a prosecutor’s sentencing memorandum when he said Shirley is “a modern-day parent’s worst nightmare” who is “a sexual predator who indiscriminately uses the Internet to target his victims.”
The investigation into Shirley began after HSI received a lead from the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children (NCMEC) about suspected child sexual exploitation activity linked to a social media account belonging to Shirley. According to court documents, Shirley had online exchanges of a sexual nature with at least three girls over the course of at least seven months. In an exchange with a 16-year-old victim in the Philippines, Shirley told her he wanted to have sex with her and wired her money in exchange for sending him sexually explicit images of herself.
“This sentence should serve as a sobering warning to every sexual predator who thinks they can hide from the law by violating the innocence of children overseas,” said Claude Arnold, special agent in charge of HSI Los Angeles. “There can be no place for the abuse of foreign children by our citizens, and HSI will seek to vindicate the rights of those victims no matter how far they live from our shores.”
The investigation into Shirley was conducted by HSI, which received substantial assistance from HSI’s attaché offices in Manila and Vietnam, the Philippine National Police and the Vietnamese Ministry of Public Security.
CONTACT: Assistant United States Attorney Jennifer Y. Chou (213) 894-6482