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Justice News

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

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Friday, February 24, 2017

Virginia Beach Man Sentenced for Attempting to Entice a Minor

NORFOLK, Va. – John Francis Aragon, 50, of Virginia Beach, was sentenced today to 10 years in prison, followed by 30 years of supervised release, for charges of coercion and enticement of a minor to engage in sexual activity.

Aragon pleaded guilty on Nov. 21, 2016. According to court documents, in May 2016, Aragon posted an ad on Craigslist seeking “fetish sex with young girl.” A detective with the Virginia Beach Police Department, in an undercover capacity, responded to the ad pretending to be a 14-year-old girl. The “girl” told Aragon that she was 14 years old at the inception of the conversation. The two chatted over a period of time and the conversations became sexually explicit. Eventually, a special agent with Homeland Security Investigations took over the alleged 14-year-old’s role.

On three occasions, Aragon left money under a rock at a local park in exchange for a pair of the girl’s underwear. Aragon also expressed his desire to meet the girl in person in order to engage in sexual activity. On August 16, 2016, Aragon showed up at the park in Virginia Beach to meet the girl and was then arrested.

Dana J. Boente, U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of Virginia; Michael K. Lamonea, Assistant Special Agent in Charge of U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) Norfolk; and James A. Cervera, Chief of Virginia Beach Police, made the announcement after sentencing by U.S. District Judge Arenda Wright Allen. Assistant U.S. Attorney Elizabeth M. Yusi 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 the United States Attorneys’ Offices and the Criminal Division’s Child Exploitation and Obscenity Section, Project Safe Childhood marshals federal, state and local resources to locate, apprehend and prosecute individuals who sexually exploit children, and to identify and rescue victims. For more information about Project Safe Childhood, please visit www.usdoj.gov/psc and click on the tab “resources” for more information about Internet safety education.

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. 2:16-cr-129.

Topic(s): 
Project Safe Childhood
Updated February 28, 2017