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 Paul G. Byron has sentenced Samuel Ernesto Mendez (29, Philadelphia) to 30 years in federal prison, followed by a lifetime of supervised release, for enticement of a minor to engage in sexual activity. The court also ordered Mendez to forfeit two cellphones and a gaming console, which were used to commit the offense. Mendez had pleaded guilty on March 31, 2023.
According to court documents, in February 2022, Mendez met the 12-year-old victim online. He chatted online with the child for four months before traveling to Orlando in June 2022 to engage in sexual activity with the child. While in Orlando, Mendez picked up the child in the middle of the night, took the child to a local hotel, drank alcoholic beverages with the child, and had sexual intercourse with the child. After returning to his home in Philadelphia, Mendez continued his inappropriate “relationship” with the victim with online written and video chats. Upon his arrest in December 2022, Mendez admitted to having an inappropriate relationship with the victim and traveling to Florida to see the victim.
This case was investigated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation. It was prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Courtney D. Richardson-Jones.
This 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.