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Justice News

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

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Friday, May 12, 2017

Man Sentenced for Exploiting Children to Produce Child Pornography

ALEXANDRIA, Va. – An Ohio man was sentenced today to 15 years in prison for exploiting at least six minor boys to produce sexually explicit photographs and videos.

Vincenzo Leonardi, 27, of Lakewood, pleaded guilty on February 13, to the sexual exploitation of a minor. According to court documents, from at least May 2012 to February 2016, Leonardi posed as a pre-adolescent 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. 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, Virginia, was 9 years old when he was contacted by Leonardi. For that victim and at least five others located throughout the country, Leonardi successfully coerced and enticed 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 exploit at least a dozen other minor boys he contacted online, all of whom were between the ages of 9 and 12 years old. Leonardi also 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 children.

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 sentencing by U.S. District Judge Leonie M. Brinkema. Assistant U.S. Attorneys Maya D. Song and Jay V. Prabhu prosecuted 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 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. 1:16-cr-247.

Topic(s): 
Project Safe Childhood
Contact: 
Joshua Stueve Director of Communications joshua.stueve@usdoj.gov
Updated May 12, 2017