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Press Release

Virginia Man Sentenced To 10 Years For Sex Trafficking a 15-Year-Old Girl

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, Eastern District of Virginia

ALEXANDRIA, Va. – Ismael Antonio Mendez, 20, of Annandale, was sentenced today to 120 months in prison and 10 years of supervised release for sex trafficking of a minor. Mendez was also ordered to register as a sex offender upon release from prison.

Mendez pleaded guilty on Dec. 29, 2015. According to court documents, Mendez admitted that from at least November 2014 through February 2015, he and two adult co-conspirators recruited a 15-year-old girl to engage in commercial sex acts to pay off a debt that Mendez owed to one of the co-conspirators.  The adults taught the girl how to prostitute, took photos of her to use in ads and created commercial sex ads that were posted on the Internet, he admitted.  Mendez admitted that the co-conspirators knew that the girl was a minor and instructed her to lie about her age to customers.  According to Mendez’s plea, over a three-month period, the co-conspirators traveled with the girl throughout Virginia, in New York and every state in between for the purposes of advertising and engaging the girl in commercial sex.  Mendez admitted that during that time period, the defendants prostituted the girl every day, with an average of 10 to 12 customers a night until she earned enough to repay Mendez’s debt, at which point she was directed to leave the co-conspirators.

Dana J. Boente, U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of Virginia; Leslie R. Caldwell, Assistant Attorney General of the Justice Department’s Criminal Division; Paul M. Abbate, Assistant Director in Charge of the FBI’s Washington Field Office; and Colonel Edwin C. Roessler Jr., Chief of the Fairfax County Police Department, made the announcement after sentencing by U.S. District Judge Leonie M. Brinkema.  Assistant U.S. Attorney Whitney Dougherty Russell and Special Assistant U.S. Attorney Lauren Britsch prosecuted 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-349.

Updated March 18, 2016

Human Trafficking