Federal Jury Convicts Registered Sexual Predator Of Attempting To Entice A 14-Year-Old Child To Produce Sexual Abuse Videos Using A Smart Phone
Fort Myers, Florida – U.S. District Judge Sheri Polster Chappell today sentenced Romeo Valentin Sanchez (32, Cape Coral) to life in federal prison for producing child pornography, enticing a minor to engage in sexual conduct, and possessing child pornography. The court also ordered Sanchez to forfeit two cellphones that he had used to receive and store the images.
Sanchez was found guilty by a jury on February 25, 2019, after a five-day trial.
According to testimony and evidence presented at trial, Sanchez, a convicted sex offender, lured a 14-year-old victim into a sexual relationship that lasted several months. In addition to engaging in sex acts with the victim, Sanchez also induced the victim to make and send him pornographic videos.
After officers from the Cape Coral Police Department seized Sanchez’s phone and informed him that he was under investigation for his sexual exploitation of the first victim, Sanchez obtained a second cellphone and attempted to entice a second middle-school-aged child into a sexual relationship. Sanchez lured the victim by creating a fraudulent social media profile of a 13-year-old boy 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 victim to send him child pornography.
This case was investigated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation’s Innocent Images Task Force and the Cape Coral Police Department. It was prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Charles Schmitz.
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.