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Justice News

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

Friday, February 19, 2016

Salvadoran Man Convicted of Sex Trafficking and Sex Tourism Involving a 14-Year-old Victim from El Salvador

ALEXANDRIA, Va. – Eric Noe Araujo Flores, aka Eric Araujo Orellano, 34, a citizen of El Salvador who lives in Ashburn, was convicted today by a federal jury on charges of sex trafficking of a child, foreign travel with intent to engage in illicit sexual conduct, and harboring an alien for an immoral purpose, and coercion and enticement.

Araujo Flores was indicted on Nov. 19, 2015.  According to court records and evidence at trial, Araujo Flores contacted his former nanny in El Salvador in an effort to find a teenage Salvadoran girl.  The nanny put Araujo Flores in touch with her 14-year-old niece, who informed Araujo Flores that a gang had threatened to harm her and her family and that she needed help.  Araujo Flores obtained photographs of the girl and then promised to help the girl if she would have sex with him.  Beginning in July 2013, Araujo Flores made three trips from Dulles International Airport to El Salvador to have sex with the victim.  Araujo Flores paid cash for some of the sex acts.  He also provided the victim and her family with jewelry, food, and clothing, paid to have them move residences, and paid her family’s rent.

Seeking immediate access to the victim, Araujo Flores arranged and paid to have the victim and her mother smuggled into the United States through Texas in June 2014.  He then harbored them at a house he owned in Sterling.  Araujo Flores allowed them to live there rent-free in exchange for sex with the victim, who was then 15-years-old.  Araujo Flores provided the victim with a counterfeit permanent resident card which included a false birthdate indicating she was over the age of 18.  He also continued to provide food and jewelry to the victim.

Araujo Flores will be sentenced on June 3, 2016, and faces a mandatory minimum of 10 years in prison and a maximum penalty of life in prison.  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; Thomas Haycraft, Acting Special Agent in Charge of the Diplomatic Security Service of U.S. Department of State; Michael L. Chapman, Loudoun County Sheriff; and Colonel Edwin C. Roessler, Jr., Fairfax County Chief of Police, made the announcement after the verdict was accepted by U.S. District Judge Liam O’Grady.  Assistant U.S. Attorney Michel J. Frank is prosecuting the case.

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. 1:15-cr-320.

Human Trafficking
Updated February 19, 2016