You are here

Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
District of Columbia

Thursday, January 16, 2014

Maryland Man Sentenced To More Than Eight Years In Prison For Traveling To The District Of Columbia To Have Sex With Under-Aged Child

     WASHINGTON - John Vanathayan, 42, of Silver Spring, Md., was sentenced today to 100 months in prison for traveling interstate to engage in illicit sexual conduct with a minor, announced U.S. Attorney Ronald C. Machen Jr., Valerie Parlave, Assistant Director in Charge of the FBI's Washington Field Office, and Cathy L. Lanier, Chief of the Metropolitan Police Department (MPD).

     Vanathayan pled guilty in November 2012 in the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia and was sentenced today by the Honorable Amy Berman Jackson. Upon completion of his prison term, Vanathayan will be placed on 10 years of supervised release.

     According to the government's evidence, on July 19, 2012, Vanathayan contacted a citizen on a telephone chat line.  During the course of the conversation, Vanathayan requested that the citizen provide a female child, between the ages of six and nine, for the purpose of sex. The citizen agreed to try to comply with the request. Instead, the citizen contacted MPD and reported the communication. An MPD officer, along with FBI's Child Exploitation Task Force, began to investigate. During the course of the investigation, Vanathayan arranged with the citizen to meet for the purpose of engaging in sexual acts with a child.   On July 20, 2012, Vanathayan traveled from Silver Spring to a pre-arranged meeting place in Washington, D.C.  When Vanathayan arrived at the meeting place, he was arrested.

     This case was brought as part of the Department of Justice's Project Safe Childhood initiative and investigated by the FBI's Child Exploitation Task Force, which includes members of the FBI's Washington Field Office and MPD.

     Project Safe Childhood is 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 the Criminal Division’s Child Exploitation and Obscenity Section (CEOS), Project Safe Childhood marshals federal, state and local resources to better locate, apprehend and prosecute people who exploit children, as well as to identify and rescue victims.  For more information about Project Safe Childhood, please visit

     In announcing the sentence, U.S. Attorney Machen, Assistant Director Parlave and Chief Lanier praised the MPD Detectives and Special Agents of the FBI Child Exploitation Task Force.  They also commended Assistant U.S. Attorney Julieanne Himelstein, who prosecuted the case, and Legal Intern Matthew Kerr, who provided assistance.


Updated February 19, 2015