Jacksonville Man Indicted For Attempting To Entice And Meet An 11-Year-Old Child To Engage In Sexual Activity
Orlando, Florida – U.S. District Judge Carlos E. Mendoza has sentenced Deepak Deshpande (41, Dublin, California) to life in federal prison for enticing a minor to engage in sexual conduct, and 30 years’ imprisonment for production of child pornography. Deshpande had pleaded guilty on October 29, 2018.
According to court documents and evidence presented during the sentencing hearing, in July 2017, Deshpande contacted a minor in Orlando through an online chat application. At that time, Deshpande posed as a modeling agent and persuaded the minor to send him nude images of herself. In the months that followed, Deshpande contacted the same minor, posing as two other individuals, and threatened to disseminate her nude images if she did not continue producing additional child pornography for him.
In September 2017, Deshpande traveled to Orlando from California to meet the minor in person for the first time. He brought her to a local hotel, and filmed himself sexually assaulting the victim multiple times. Between September 2017 and April 2018, he repeated this same conduct during four additional visits to Orlando.
In early May 2018, following an anonymous tip, the FBI began investigating Deshpande. An undercover FBI agent then began posing as the minor in communications with Deshpande. On May 12, 2018, as a result of the undercover investigation, Deshpande returned to Orlando and was arrested upon his arrival at the Orlando International Airport.
Following his arrest, Deshpande plotted to kidnap and murder the minor victim in advance of his trial. Deshpande recruited a fellow inmate, whom he believed would soon be released, to serve as a middleman. Deshpande gave the inmate names and contact information for individuals who might be willing to carry out the abduction and murder, and furnished personal details concerning the victim and her family, including her residence and schedule. Upon learning of the plot, the FBI conducted an undercover investigation and Deshpande’s efforts were ultimately unsuccessful.
“Those who work the FBI’s Violent Crimes Against Children program bring compassion, commitment, and steadfast determination to their investigations to ensure predators like this are brought to justice,” said Eric Sporre, Special Agent in Charge of the FBI Tampa Division. “This case is particularly noteworthy in the level of planning conducted and depravity displayed by the perpetrator. I would like to recognize the courage of the victim who helped make sure this predator cannot hurt others and also encourage our community to remain vigilant online and report any suspicious activity to law enforcement.”
This case was investigated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation. It was prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Emily C. L. Chang.
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 United States Attorneys’ Offices and the Criminal Division’s Child Exploitation and Obscenity Section (CEOS), 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.justice.gov/psc.