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Justice News

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

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Thursday, June 9, 2022

Navy Sailor Sentenced for Sexual Exploitation of Children

NORFOLK, Va. – A Newport News man was sentenced today to 25 years in prison followed by a lifetime of supervised release for sexually abusing a child.

According to court documents, Travis James Muckelroy, 27, used a social media platform to develop online relationships with children. On various occasions in April and September of 2021, Muckelroy instructed a 13-year-old girl and a 12-year-old girl to send him nude photographs or recordings of themselves engaging in sexual acts. He made these requests even after one of the girls informed Muckelroy she was the victim of rape. In addition to these young girls, Muckelroy used the same social media platform to communicate with at least three other suspected minors. Muckelroy had been an enlisted member of the Navy since 2019.

Jessica D. Aber, U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of Virginia; Brenda Nevano, Acting Special Agent in Charge of U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) Washington, D.C.; and Frederick Franks, Special Agent in Charge of the Naval Criminal Investigative Service (NCIS) Norfolk Field Office, made the announcement after sentencing by U.S. District Judge Rebecca Beach Smith.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Matthew Heck prosecuted the case.

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. Attorney’s Offices and the Child Exploitation and Obscenity Section (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

In 2021, EDVA launched “UnMasked,” a community-based educational outreach and prevention program in Virginia dedicated to raising awareness and educating the community about the prevalence of online sexual exploitation involving children and young adults. UnMasked is a multi-disciplinary partnership of local, state, federal, and non-profit stakeholders. The core curriculum is provided by the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children’s (NCMEC) NetSmartz program. To report an incident involving online sexual exploitation, call 1-800-843-5678 or submit a report at report.cybertip.org. To request an UnMasked event at your school or organization, please contact EDVA’s Community Outreach Coordinator at USAVAE-UnMasked@usdoj.gov.

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. 2:21-cr-130.

Topic(s): 
Project Safe Childhood
Contact: 
USAVAE.Press@usdoj.gov
Updated June 9, 2022