Graduate Student Pleads Guilty to Attempting to Entice a Minor
ALEXANDRIA, Va. – Julio Perez-Torres, 26, of Rome, New York, pleaded guilty today to charges of attempted coercion and enticement of a minor to engage in criminal sexual activity.
According to the statement of facts filed with the plea agreement, in early February 2016, Perez-Torres, a master’s degree candidate at American University, posted an online advertisement expressing interest in sex with children. When an undercover Fairfax County police officer replied portraying himself as the father of two children, ages 5 and 7, Perez-Torres discussed performing graphic sexual acts on the children. On Feb. 18, 2016, after weeks of corresponding with the undercover officer via sexually explicit emails, text messages and telephone calls, Perez-Torres traveled to meet the undercover officer with the intent to engage in sexual acts with the children. Perez-Torres was arrested at that time.
Perez-Torres faces a mandatory minimum of 10 years and maximum penalty of life in prison when sentenced on May 12. The maximum statutory sentence is prescribed by Congress and is provided here for informational purposes, as the sentencing of the defendant will be determined by the court based on the advisory Sentencing Guidelines and other statutory factors.
Dana J. Boente, U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of Virginia; and Colonel Edwin C. Roessler Jr., Fairfax County Chief of Police, made the announcement after the plea was accepted by U.S. District Judge Liam O’Grady. Assistant U.S. Attorney Kellen S. Dwyer and Special Assistant U.S. Attorney James E. Burke IV are prosecuting the case.
This investigation was a 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 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 www.justice.gov/psc.
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. 1:16-cr-287.