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Justice News

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

Wednesday, September 6, 2017

Springfield Man Pleads Guilty in Child Sex Tourism Case

ALEXANDRIA, Va. – A Springfield man pleaded guilty today to attempting to entice an eight-year-old minor to engage in sex during his trip to the Philippines in 2013.

According to the statement of facts filed with the plea agreement, Carl Sara, 63, participated in live-streaming webcam sessions depicting minors engaged in sexually explicit conduct and engaged in sexually explicit chatting with minors. During some of these chats, which occurred in or about May 2013, Sara attempted to have a woman in the Philippines assist him in enticing her eight-year old daughter to have sex with him during a 2013 trip to the Philippines. He paid her $200 dollars via Western Union as a down-payment and offered to pay her an additional $300 after he had sex with the eight-year-old.

Sara faces a mandatory minimum sentence of 10 years and a maximum penalty of life in prison when sentenced on December 8. Actual sentences for federal crimes are typically less than the maximum penalties. A federal district court judge will determine any sentence after taking into account the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines and other statutory factors.

Dana J. Boente, U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of Virginia, and Andrew W. Vale, Assistant Director in Charge of the FBI’s Washington Field Office, made the announcement after U.S. District Judge Liam O’Grady accepted the plea. Special Assistant U.S. Attorney James E. Burke IV and Assistant United States Attorney Nathaniel Smith III are prosecuting the case.

This case was brought as part of Project Safe Childhood, a nationwide initiative to combat the growing epidemic of child sexual exploitation and abuse launched in May 2006 by the Department of Justice. Led by U.S. Attorneys’ 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

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. 1:17-cr-54.

Project Safe Childhood
Joshua Stueve Director of Communications
Updated September 6, 2017