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Justice News

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

Wednesday, September 9, 2015

Federal Jury Convicts Juan Alberto Robles Zavala For Attempting To Entice A Child Under The Age Of 18 For Sex Using A Facility Or Means Of Interstate Commerce

KNOXVILLE, Tenn. - Following a three day trial in U.S. District Court a jury convicted Juan Alberto Robles Zavala, a Mexico Nationalist working in Chattanooga, Tenn., of attempting to entice a child under the age of 18 for sex using a facility or means of interstate commerce.

Sentencing is set for 2:00 p.m., Jan. 20, 2016, in U.S. District Court in Knoxville, Tennessee.  Zavala faces a mandatory minimum sentence of 10 years up to life in prison.

Evidence presented at trial showed that law enforcement placed a female profile on an adult sex website “looking for right Dom needing a teacher for Taboo” for herself and her younger version.  Zavala replied to the profile and learned that the younger version was a 12-year-old child.   Over a four month period of time he emailed who he believed to be a mother and 12-year-old daughter with explicit details of his intent and desires to have sex with the child.  Zavala was arrested when he arrived at the meeting location with condoms and a sexual aid.

Law enforcement agencies participating in the joint investigation which led to indictment and subsequent conviction of Zavala included Knoxville Police Department, Internet Crimes Against Children (ICAC) Task Force, Blount County Sheriff’s Department, Homeland Security Investigations. Assistant U.S. Attorney Jennifer Kolman represented the United States at trial.

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 Criminal Division's Child Exploitation and Obscenity Section (CEOS), 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


Project Safe Childhood
Updated September 9, 2015