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Justice News

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

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Tuesday, May 15, 2018

Man Pleads Guilty to Exploiting 12-Year-Old Girl Over Internet

ALEXANDRIA, Va. – A Rockville, Maryland man pleaded guilty today to exploiting a 12-year-old Virginia girl by using the Internet to coerce and entice her to engage in illegal sexual activity.

According to court documents, Jose Adalberto Sandoval Quinonez, 26, initiated contact with the 12-year-old victim over Instagram and the two later began chatting over Google Hangouts. Over the course of several months in 2017, Sandoval used Google Hangouts to groom, persuade, and entice the minor to engage in sex acts, including sexual intercourse. In addition, he repeatedly asked her to produce and send him sexually explicit photos of herself, and he succeeded in persuading her to send him such a photo. Sandoval also sent the victim an image of his penis. During these interactions, Sandoval, who was 25 years old at the time, pretended to be 16 years old.

Sandoval Quinonez pleaded guilty to one count of coercion and enticement of a minor to engage in sexual activity, and faces a mandatory minimum of 10 years in prison and a maximum penalty of life in prison when sentenced on August 10. Actual sentences for federal crimes are typically less than the maximum penalties. A federal district court judge will determine any sentence after taking into account the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines and other statutory factors.

Tracy Doherty-McCormick, Acting U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of Virginia, John P. Cronan, Acting Assistant Attorney General of the Justice Department’s Criminal Division, and Patrick J. Lechleitner, Special Agent in Charge of U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s Homeland Security Investigations (ICE-HSI), Washington, D.C., made the announcement after U.S. District Judge Anthony J. Trenga accepted the plea. Assistant U.S. Attorney Whitney Doherty Russell and Trial Attorney Kyle P. Reynolds of the Criminal Division’s Child Exploitation and Obscenity Section (CEOS) are prosecuting the case.

HSI investigated the case with the assistance of the City of Manassas Park Police Department.

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 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 is located on the website of the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of Virginia. Related court documents and information is located on the website of the District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia or on PACER by searching for Case No. 1:18-cr-145.

Topic(s): 
Project Safe Childhood
Contact: 
Joshua Stueve Director of Communications joshua.stueve@usdoj.gov
Updated May 15, 2018