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Press Release

California Man Sentenced to 7 Years in Prison for Sex with Missouri Teen

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, Eastern District of Missouri

ST. LOUIS – A man from California admitted traveling to Missouri to have sex with a teenage girl and was sentenced Tuesday to seven years in prison.

Edson S. Ortiz, 30, of Napa County, pleaded guilty at the start of Tuesday’s hearing in U.S. District Court in St. Louis Tuesday to one felony count of traveling with the intent to engage in illicit sexual conduct. He admitted that he began communicating with the Missouri teen over Snapchat and WhatsApp. On Oct. 23, 2020, Ortiz flew from California to St. Louis. The next day, at a hotel in Chesterfield, Ortiz engaged in illegal sex acts with the girl, who was then 16. Ortiz was 27.

He also recorded the sexual contact on his iPhone. That video, as well as pictures, were discovered after a January 2021 search of his home that was triggered when Ortiz uploaded child sexual abuse material to Snapchat. 

The case was investigated by the St. Louis County Special Investigations Unit, the Napa County (California) Sheriff’s Office and the FBI. Assistant U.S. Attorney Jillian Anderson prosecuted the case.

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 the Department of Justice Criminal Division's Child Exploitation and Obscenity Section, 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

Updated April 11, 2023

Project Safe Childhood