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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
Middle District of Florida

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Tuesday, February 26, 2019

Federal Jury Finds Registered Sex Offender Guilty Of Enticing Two Middle School Children To Commit Sex Acts

Fort Myers, Florida – United States Attorney Maria Chapa Lopez announces that a federal jury has found Romeo Valentin Sanchez (31, Cape Coral) guilty of enticing two minors to commit sex acts and producing and possessing child pornography. The jury also found him guilty of committing these offenses while already being required to register as a sex offender. He faces a maximum penalty of life in federal prison. The sentencing hearing is scheduled for May 28, 2019.      

According to testimony and evidence presented at trial, Sanchez, a convicted sex offender, lured a 14-year-old family friend into a sexual relationship that lasted for several months. In addition to engaging in sex acts, Sanchez also induced the victim to send him explicit videos of themself.

After officers from the Cape Coral Police Department seized Sanchez’s phone and informed him that he was under investigation for his sex acts on the first victim, Sanchez obtained a second cellphone and attempted to entice a second middle-school-aged student into a sexual relationship. Sanchez met the second victim when the victim and her mother came into the Cape Coral restaurant where Sanchez worked. Sanchez lured the victim by creating a fraudulent social media profile of a 13-year-old child in an attempt to trick the victim into a sexual relationship.  Although no in-person encounter occurred with the second victim, Sanchez was able to induce the second victim to send him child pornography.

This case was investigated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation, Innocent Images Task Force, and the Cape Coral Police Department. It was being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Charles Schmitz.

It is another case 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 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. For more information about Project Safe Childhood, please visit www.justice.gov/psc.

Topic(s): 
Project Safe Childhood
Component(s): 
Updated February 26, 2019