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Justice News

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

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Wednesday, July 8, 2020

Operation Kick Boxer Continues to Have Local Impact with Arrest and Charges Against Indiana Man Who Travelled to Wisconsin for Sex with a 15-Year-Old

United States Attorney Matthew D. Krueger of the Eastern District of Wisconsin, announced that Ronald P. Ortega (age: 47) of Dyer, Indiana, was charged via a criminal complaint following his July 6, 2020, arrest by local and federal authorities.

Ortega’s arrest coincided with Monday’s announcement of Operation Kick Boxer, a collaborative effort involving the Milwaukee Division of the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), the U.S. Attorney's Office for the Eastern District of Wisconsin, and the Winnebago County Sheriff's Office. (https://www.fbi.gov/contact-us/field-offices/milwaukee/news/press-releases/international-operation-targeting-individuals-sexually-abusing-children-and-distributing-child-sexual-abuse-materials).

According to the complaint and supporting affidavit, Ortega began exchanging instant messages with “Lisa,” whom he believed to be the mother of a 15-year-old girl living in Oshkosh, Wisconsin.  The complaint also alleges that Ortega expressed repeated interest in engaging in sexual activity with the 15-year-old and looked forward to “taking her virginity.”  According to the complaint, Ortega also sent pornographic images of children to “Lisa” and expressed an interest in digitally recording the sexual intercourse between himself and her child.

“Lisa” was, in fact, a law enforcement agent working as a part of Operation Kick Boxer.  Ortega was arrested after leaving the hotel room he had procured in preparation for meeting the child.

Ortega faces charges of using a computer to attempt to persuade, induce, or entice a minor to engage in unlawful sexual activity, in violation of Title 18, United States Code, Section 2422(b), and attempted production of child pornography, in violation of Title 18, United States Code, Section 2251(a). 

He faces a mandatory minimum sentence of 15 years and up to a lifetime of imprisonment if convicted of those charges. He was ordered detained pending trial.

A criminal complaint is only a charge and is not evidence of guilt.  The defendant is presumed innocent and is entitled to a fair trial at which the government must prove him guilty beyond a reasonable doubt.  

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 U.S. 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 www.projectsafechildhood.gov. 

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Updated July 8, 2020