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Justice News

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

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Monday, February 13, 2017

Man Pleads Guilty to Producing Child Pornography of Boys

ALEXANDRIA, Va. – Vincenzo Leonardi, 27, of Lakewood, Ohio, pleaded guilty today to production of child pornography in connection with his online impersonation of a minor girl to entice and coerce minor boys to produce sexually explicit photographs and videos of themselves.

According to the statement of facts filed with the plea agreement, from at least May 2012 to February 2016, Leonardi posed as a minor girl named “Taylor Capps” on Facebook, Instagram, Kik, and other social media services, for the purpose of contacting minor boys over the Internet to engage in sexually explicit communications and conduct. For example, as part of his scheme, Leonardi sent pictures of a minor girl and other naked females to his victims. One victim, located in Loudoun County, was 9 years old at the time he was contacted by Leonardi. For that victim and at least five others located throughout the country, Leonardi successfully enticed and coerced them to record themselves engaged in sexually explicit behavior and to transmit those photographs and videos to Leonardi. As part of his plea agreement, Leonardi admitted that he attempted to similarly entice and coerce at least a dozen other minor boys he contacted online, all of whom were between the ages of 9 and 12 years old.

As part of his plea agreement, Leonardi admitted that his personal laptop computer, which was seized during the execution of a search warrant in December 2015, contained over two dozen sexually explicit videos and over 100 sexually explicit images of minors.

Leonardi was indicted by a federal grand jury on Nov. 3, 2016, and faces a mandatory minimum of 15 years in prison and a maximum penalty of 30 years 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; Andrew W. Vale, Assistant Director in Charge of the FBI’s Washington Field Office; and Michael L. Chapman, Loudoun County Sheriff, made the announcement after the plea was accepted by U.S. District Judge Leonie M. Brinkema. Assistant U.S. Attorneys Maya D. Song and Jay V. Prabhu are prosecuting the case. The U.S. Attorney’s Offices for the Northern District of Ohio and the District of Maryland significantly aided in the investigation.

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-247.

Topic(s): 
Project Safe Childhood
Updated February 13, 2017