Quincy Man Sentenced to 7 Years in Federal Prison for Patronizing a 13 Year Old Engaged in Commercial Sex
Spokane– Joseph H. Harrington, Acting United States Attorney for the Eastern District of Washington, announced that Albert Castro, Jr., of Quincy, Washington, was sentenced after having previously pleaded guilty in March, 2017, to patronizing a thirteen-year-old child engaged in commercial sex. United States District Judge Salvador Mendoza, Jr. sentenced Castro to a seven-year term of imprisonment, to be followed by ten years of supervised release upon release of federal prison.
According to information disclosed during court proceedings, a thirteen-year-old female contacted Castro at the direction of Eric J. Perez, who was also charged in connection with this case. Castro paid the child $80 for two sex acts at his residence.
Castro’s criminal conduct was discovered while law enforcement officers were independently investigating Perez. The Perez investigation began after a sister of one of the child-victims informed a school counselor that she was concerned about her sister’s Facebook contacts with Perez. The counselor immediately informed the Quincy Police Department. The Quincy Police Department, together with the FBI, discovered that Perez’s Facebook account contained multiple conversations between Perez and multiple 12-15 year old girls. For his part, Perez pled guilty on September 28, 2017 to seven criminal charges -- Production of Child Pornography, Attempted Production of Child Pornography, Coercion and Enticement of a Minor to Engage in Criminal Sexual Activity, Child Sex Trafficking, Attempted Child Sex Trafficking, and Possession of Child Pornography. He is scheduled to be sentenced on December 13, 2017.
Joseph H. Harrington said, “The impact of Castro’s crime on his victim cannot be overstated. The United States Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of Washington prosecutes crimes against children aggressively, in part because of the extreme vulnerability of the young victims.” Harrington went on to add, “This case is yet another example of the successful investigative efforts that can be accomplished when state and federal law enforcement, such as the Quincy Police Department and the FBI, work in partnership.”
This case was pursued as part of Project Safe Childhood, a nationwide initiative launched in May 2006 by the United States 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. The Project Safe Childhood Initiative (“PSC”) has five major components:
• Integrated federal, state, and local efforts to investigate and prosecute child exploitation cases, and to identify and rescue children;
• Participation of PSC partners in coordinated national initiatives;
• Increased federal enforcement in child pornography and enticement cases;
• Training of federal, state, and local law enforcement agents; and
• Community awareness and educational programs.
The Quincy Police Department and the FBI conducted the investigation of this matter. Scott T. Jones, an Assistant United States Attorney for the Eastern District of Washington, prosecuted the case.