California Man Indicted for Traveling to Thailand and Sexually Abusing Minor Boys
LOS ANGELES – A resident of Montrose was indicted today in a superseding indictment by a federal grand jury in Los Angeles on charges of engaging in illicit sexual conduct in foreign places and sex trafficking of a minor, Assistant Attorney General Leslie R. Caldwell of the Justice Department’s Criminal Division and United States Attorney Eileen M. Decker announced today.
Paul Alan Shapiro, 69, was originally indicted on April 22, 2015, on charges relating to his travel to Thailand and illicit sexual conduct with minor boys.
According to the indictment, in February 2010, Shapiro traveled from Los Angeles to Thailand, where Shapiro paid minors as young as 14 years old small amounts of local currency in order to engage in various sex acts with them. Shapiro also allegedly took photographs of himself engaging in sexually explicit conduct with the boys.
“Child predators cannot flee the United States in the hope of having a safe haven for their criminal conduct,” said United States Attorney Eileen M. Decker. “To protect the most vulnerable among us, my office will pursue Americans who seek to exploit children in other countries.”
U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s Homeland Security Investigations is investigating the case. Trial Attorneys Austin M. Berry and Amy E. Larson of the Criminal Division’s Child Exploitation and Obscenity Section (CEOS) are prosecuting the case.
“This indictment should serve as a warning to sexual predators who mistakenly believe they can escape justice by exploiting children overseas,” said Joseph Macias, special agent in charge for HSI Los Angeles. “There is no tolerance for the sexual abuse of foreign children by our citizens, and HSI will work closely with our law enforcement counterparts throughout the world to ensure these criminals face justice.”
The charges and allegations contained in an indictment are merely accusations. The defendant is presumed innocent until and unless proven guilty.
This case was brought as 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.
Earlier this month, a Northern California man was found guilty in United States District Court in Los Angeles of traveling to Cambodia to have illicit sexual conduct with young girls (see: http://go.usa.gov/cAgP9).