SACRAMENTO, Calif. — Balbino Sablad, 80, of Vallejo, pleaded guilty today to traveling with the intent to engage in illicit sexual conduct, U.S. Attorney Phillip A. Talbert announced.
According to court documents, in 2019, Sablad flew to the Philippines with the intention of engaging in sexual conduct with a child under the age of 16. Using Facebook, Sablad had engaged in sexual chats with a person he believed was the intended minor victim and he sent the intended minor victim over $2,000 prior to his travel to the Philippines. Before he arrived, he also discussed with a co-conspirator his plan to sexually abuse the intended minor victim in the Philippines.
This case is the product of an investigation by the Federal Bureau of Investigation. Assistant U.S. Attorney Rosanne Rust is prosecuting the case.
Sablad a sentencing hearing is scheduled before U.S. District Judge Troy L. Nunley on Aug. 1, 2022. Sablad faces a maximum statutory penalty of 30 years in prison and a $250,000 fine. The actual sentence, however, will be determined at the discretion of the court after consideration of any applicable statutory factors and the Federal Sentencing Guidelines, which take into account a number of variables.
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.