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Justice News

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

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Friday, June 3, 2016

Ashburn Man Sentenced for Sex Trafficking a Child and Sex Tourism Crimes

ALEXANDRIA, Va. – Eric Noe Araujo Flores, of Ashburn, was sentenced today to 300 months in prison for various sex tourism and sex trafficking crimes. Araujo Flores was also ordered to pay approximately $40,000 in restitution to his victim.

“Sex tourism and sex trafficking of children are vicious crimes that result in irreparable harm to the victims,” said Dana J. Boente, U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of Virginia. “We will continue to work diligently to prosecute those who travel to foreign countries to prey upon children.”

“Today’s sentencing sends a strong message: Diplomatic Security is committed to making sure that those who commit sex trafficking of children, and sex trafficking customers, face consequences for their criminal actions,” said Bill A. Miller, Director of the U.S. State Department’s Diplomatic Security Service. “Diplomatic Security’s strong relationship with the U.S. Attorney’s Office and other law enforcement agencies around the world continues to be essential in the pursuit of justice.”

According to court documents and testimony at trial, Araujo Flores was introduced to a 14-year-old victim while she lived in El Salvador.  Araujo Flores learned that street gangs were threatening her and her family with violence and he offered to help them escape from the gangs, promising financial support in exchange for sexual acts with the minor.  In July 2013, he travelled to his native El Salvador with gifts and money, and after meeting with the victim’s mother, he had sex with the victim in a hotel room.  After he left, Araujo Flores continued to contact the victim via telephone and later made two more trips to El Salvador to have sex with the victim.  He paid cash for some of the sex acts, and also provided money for rent, food, clothing, and jewelry to the victim and her family.

In June 2014, Araujo Flores arranged for the victim and her mother to be smuggled from El Salvador into the United States through Texas.  Ultimately, the victim and her mother stayed at a house Araujo Flores owned in Sterling, and periodically he would come to the home to have sex with the victim. Araujo Flores provided the victim with a counterfeit permanent resident card which included a false birthdate indicating she was over the age of 18.  When the victim expressed that she did not want to have sex with Araujo Flores, he threatened her and said that if she told Araujo Flores’ wife about the sex, his wife would beat her and he would have the victim and her mother deported to El Salvador. Araujo Flores also threatened to stop providing food and to evict the victim and her mother from their apartment if she stopped having sex with him.

On Feb. 19, 2016, a federal jury convicted Araujo Flores of nine offenses, including four counts of sex trafficking of a child, three counts of foreign travel with intent to engage in illicit sexual conduct (also known as sex tourism), coercion and enticement, and harboring an alien for an immoral purpose.

Dana J. Boente, U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of Virginia; Bill A. Miller, Director of the Diplomatic Security Service (DSS) for the U.S. Department of State; Colonel Edwin C. Roessler, Jr., Fairfax County Chief of Police; and Michael L. Chapman, Loudoun County Sheriff, made the announcement after sentencing by U.S. District Judge Liam O’Grady. 

The case was investigated by DSS, the Loudoun County Sheriff’s Office, and the Fairfax County Police Department.  Assistant U.S. Attorney Michael J. Frank prosecuted the case.

If you believe you are a victim in this case, please call the Fairfax County Police Department non-emergency number at 703-691-2131.

A copy of this press release may be found on the website of the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of Virginia.  Related court documents and information may be found on the website of the District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia or on PACER by searching for Case No. 1:15-CR-320.

Topic(s): 
Human Trafficking
Updated June 15, 2016