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Press Release

Scranton Man Sentenced To Prison For Use Of An Interstate Communication Device To Entice A Minor To Engage In Sex

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, Middle District of Pennsylvania

SCRANTON - The United States Attorney’s Office for the Middle District of Pennsylvania announced that a Scranton man was sentenced today in federal court in Scranton by United States District Judge Edwin M. Kosik to serve 60 months in prison on the charge of using an interstate communication device to entice a minor to engage in sexual activity.

According to United States Attorney Peter Smith, Hugo Perez Banda, age 28, pleaded guilty to utilizing the internet and a cellular device, to knowingly attempt to entice a minor to engage in sexual activity, in March 2015.

The charges were brought after Scranton Police received a complaint that Banda had communicated with a 14 year old minor using Facebook, and requesting the minor to both send photographs of her genital area to Banda over the internet, and to accompany Banda to a local motel in order to engage in sexual intercourse.

In addition to the prison term, Judge Kosik also ordered that Banda be supervised by a probation officer for five years following his release from prison.  It is also noted that Banda is subject to deportation upon his release from prison.

The investigation was conducted by Homeland Security Investigations, the Pennsylvania State Police, and the Scranton Police Department.  The case was prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Todd K. Hinkley.

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 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 For more information about internet safety education, please visit and click on the tab "resources."

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Updated September 15, 2015

Project Safe Childhood