LOS ANGELES – A Long Beach resident who traveled to Mexico to engage in illicit sexual conduct with a minor – and also enticed his victim to produce child pornography – was sentenced today to 120 months in federal prison.
Jonathan Sandoval-Lepe, 32, was sentenced this morning by United States District Judge George H. Wu.
Sandoval-Lepe pleaded guilty in November 2018 to federal charges of engaging in illicit sexual conduct in a foreign place and receiving child pornography depicting other victims.
According to his plea agreement, over the course of about two years that began in the spring of 2015, Sandoval-Lepe traveled to Baja California to have sex with the victim, who was 13 when the illicit sexual conduct started.
Sandoval-Lepe also admitted that in September 2017 he enticed the victim, who was then 15, to produce child pornography while he was in the United States. The victim sent that child pornography to Sandoval-Lepe in California.
In August 2017, Sandoval-Lepe knowingly received child pornography that he downloaded onto his computer from a peer-to-peer network, the plea agreement states. The investigation found more than 600 images and videos of child pornography, some of which depicted children who were under 12 years of age, according to court documents.
In addition to the prison term, Judge Wu ordered Sandoval-Lepe to pay $15,000 in restitution to his victims, including $10,000 to the Mexican victim. Judge Wu also ordered him to pay a $10,000 special assessment paid to the Domestic Trafficking Victims’ Fund. Following his release from custody, Sandoval-Lepe will remain on federal supervised release for the remainder of his life.
This case was investigated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department. Mexican law enforcement officers in Baja California provided assistance in this investigation.
This case was prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorneys Joshua O. Mausner and Lana Morton-Owens of the Violent and Organized Crime Section.