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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
Eastern District of California

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Monday, May 9, 2016

Fresno County Man Sentenced to over 12 Years in Prison for Enticement of a Minor

FRESNO, Calif. — Juan Martin Torres, 28, of Firebaugh, was sentenced today by United States District Judge Anthony W. Ishii to 12 years and seven months in prison for enticing a minor to engage in unlawful sexual activity, Acting United States Attorney Phillip A. Talbert announced.

 

According to evidence presented at trial in February 2016, Torres was the director of the Firebaugh Boys and Girls Club. Torres was supervising a 14-year-old boy who often came to that Boys and Girls Club after school to complete 120 hours of community service. Torres sent the boy messages over Facebook that offered to shortcut his community‑service-hours requirement if the boy would agree to sexual acts with Torres. The boy reported the messages to law enforcement.

This case was the product of an investigation by the Firebaugh Police Department, the Fresno County Sheriff’s Office, and the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations (HSI). Assistant United States Attorneys Michael Tierney and Vincenza Rabenn prosecuted the case.

“We trust those in positions like the one held by the defendant to protect our children,” said Acting U.S. Attorney Talbert. “In committing this crime, the defendant committed an incredible breach of trust with the community, and we are grateful for the hard work by our partners in federal and local law enforcement to bring him to justice.”

 “Torres’ heinous violation of the trust afforded to him as a mentor and protector remains appalling,” said Ryan L. Spradlin, special agent in charge of HSI San Francisco. “The sentence is befitting of his disturbing crime and should be seen as a clear message that HSI and our law enforcement partners will make certain that anyone who chooses to exploit innocent children will be held accountable for their actions.”

This case was brought as part of Project Safe Childhood, a nationwide initiative launched in May 2006 by the Department of Justice to combat the growing epidemic of child sexual exploitation and abuse. Led by the United States Attorneys’ Offices and the Criminal Division’s Child Exploitation and Obscenity Section, Project Safe Childhood marshals federal, state, and local resources to locate, apprehend, and prosecute those who sexually exploit children, and to identify and rescue victims. For more information about Project Safe Childhood, please visit www.usdoj.gov/psc. Click on the “resources” tab for information about Internet safety education.

Topic(s): 
Project Safe Childhood
Press Release Number: 
1:13-cr-390-AWI
Updated May 9, 2016