Fernandina Beach Man Pleads Guilty To Attempting To Entice An 11-Year-Old To Engage In Sexual Activity
Jacksonville, Florida – United States Attorney A. Lee Bentley, III announced today that Rodney Joel Neal (53, Montezuma, Georgia) has pleaded guilty to failing to register as a sex offender. He faces up to 10 years in federal prison and a $250,000 fine. Neal has been in custody since his arrest on October 10, 2014.
According to court documents, in May 1988, Neal was found guilty and sentenced for committing aggravated child molestation and child molestation in Macon County, Georgia. In July 2014, he moved from Georgia to Jacksonville, but failed to register as a sex offender in Florida, as required by the Sex Offender Registration and Notification Act.
The Sex Offender Registration and Notification Act is part of the Adam Walsh Child Protection and Safety Act of 2006. The Adam Walsh Act provides for the use of federal law enforcement resources, including the United States Marshals Service, to assist state and local authorities in locating and apprehending non-compliant sex offenders.
This case was investigated by the Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office, the United States Marshals Service, and the Florida Department of Law Enforcement. It is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney D. Rodney Brown.
It is another 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, 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.