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Justice News

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

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Tuesday, March 23, 2021

Man Pleads Guilty to the Sexual Exploitation of Two Children

ALEXANDRIA, Va. – A Mexican national pleaded guilty today to two counts of production of child pornography.

According to court documents, in March 2018, Abel Ambrocio, 54, of Alexandria, Virginia, developed an online relationship with a woman in Honduras over a social media platform. From around October 2018 through at least February 2019, Ambrocio instructed the woman to record and send him over 100 images of herself sexually abusing her two children—an approximately three-year-old boy and an approximately ten-year-old girl. Ambrocio instructed the mother to engage in specific sex acts with her children and record herself doing so on multiple occasions, even when she told Ambrocio that one of the children was in pain and crying from the previous sex act. Later, in March 2019, Ambrocio distributed images of the woman sexually abusing her three-year-old son over a social media platform.

“The defendant’s conduct, which caused the sexual abuse of two young children, is both horrific and heartbreaking” said Raj Parekh, Acting U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of Virginia. “The production of child pornography inflicts devastating and lifelong harm to society’s most vulnerable victims. EDVA is committed to working with our law enforcement partners to bring child sexual predators to justice.”

Ambrocio pleaded guilty to two counts of production of child pornography. He is scheduled to be sentenced on August 4 and faces a mandatory minimum penalty of 15 years in prison. A federal district court judge will determine any sentence after considering the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines and other statutory factors.

Raj Parekh, Acting U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of Virginia; Nicholas L. McQuaid, Acting Assistant Attorney General of the Justice Department’s Criminal Division; James A. Dawson, Special Agent in Charge of the FBI’s Washington Field Office Criminal Division; and Colonel Edwin C. Roessler Jr., Fairfax County Chief of Police, made the announcement after U.S. District Judge Anthony J. Trenga accepted the plea.

Special Assistant U.S. Attorney William G. Clayman and Assistant U.S. Attorney Jonathan S. Keim are prosecuting the case.

This case was investigated by the FBI Washington Field Office’s Child Exploitation and Human Trafficking Task Force. The task force is composed of FBI agents, along with other federal agents and detectives from northern Virginia and the District of Columbia. The task force is charged with investigating and bringing federal charges against individuals engaged in the exploitation of children and those engaged in human trafficking. Significant assistance in this matter was provided by the Fairfax County Police. Tips regarding child exploitation and human trafficking can be provided to the task force at 1-800-CALL-FBI or tips.fbi.gov.

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 are located on the website of the District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia or on PACER by searching for Case No. 1:20-cr-135.

Topic(s): 
Project Safe Childhood
Contact: 
Press Officer USAVAE.Press@usdoj.gov
Updated March 24, 2021