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Press Release

Georgia Man Charged With Flying From Georgia To Minnesota To Have Sex With 13-Year-Old Girl

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

United States Attorney Andrew M. Luger today announced a federal criminal complaint charging JOHN JAMES DENICOLA, 55, with traveling from the Atlanta, Ga., area to the Twin Cities for the purpose of having sex with a 13-year-old girl in Bloomington hotel. DENICOLA made an initial appearance today in U.S. District Court in St. Paul, Minn., before Magistrate Judge Hildy Bowbeer. A detention hearing is expected to be held on Friday, March 11, 2016.

“The sexual exploitation of children is a heinous crime,” said U.S. Attorney Luger. “According to the complaint, this 55-year-old defendant flew to Minnesota to have sex with an eighth grader. Working with our law enforcement partners, we are actively preventing predators from sexually exploiting vulnerable children and we will continue to prosecute those who attempt to engage in such activity to the fullest extent of the law.”

“With this arrest, HSI has taken a suspected pedophile off the street and has prevented the potential abuse of additional innocent victims,” said HSI St. Paul Acting Special Agent in Charge William Lowder. “The sexual abuse of children is an unconscionable crime that will not be tolerated. HSI will use all the resources at its disposal to combat this reprehensible behavior and seek justice for the victims.”

According to the criminal complaint and documents filed in court, on February 26, 2016, DENICOLA, using the screen name “Johnnyman,” initiated a conversation on with an undercover law enforcement officer who DENICOLA believed was a 13-year-old girl. During the conversation, DENICOLA asked the undercover agent questions of a sexual nature, sent a picture of himself to the undercover agent, and told the agent that he had previously traveled to Nebraska to “meet a girl.” DENICOLA also told the agent that he would try to take time off from work to travel to the Twin Cities on March 7, 2016, to see the agent.

According to the criminal complaint and documents filed in court, DENICOLA repeatedly expressed concern to the undercover agent that “she” was a law enforcement officer. During the communications, the undercover agent repeatedly stated that “she” was a 13-year-old girl and an eighth grader. During the Kik Messenger conversation, DENICOLA asked numerous questions about the undercover agent’s sexual experience and also indicated various sexual acts in which he wished to engage with “her.” The defendant also indicated to the undercover agent that he had previously had sex with three or four other young girls on separate occasions.

According to the criminal complaint and documents filed in court, DENICOLA and the undercover agent continued to message one another using Kik Messenger. On February 29, 2016, DENICOLA sent the undercover agent the itinerary for his upcoming trip, which indicated that DENICOLA would fly on March 7, 2016, from Atlanta to Minneapolis/St. Paul. The defendant indicated to the undercover agent that he would bring a video recording device and that he had booked a room at the Park Plaza Hotel in Bloomington, Minn.

According to the criminal complaint and documents filed in court, upon arrival in Minnesota, DENICOLA went to a local Target and bought condoms and candles. He also went to a local florist and bought several bouquets of flowers and helium balloons that read “love you,” or words to that effect. DENICOLA was arrested inside the hotel room he had rented for his planned rendezvous. A video camera was found in DENICOLA’s room at the time of his arrest.

This case is the result of an investigation conducted by Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) Twin Cities, HSI Atlanta, HSI Laredo and HSI San Jose.

This case is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Carol M. Kayser.


Defendant Information:


Suwanee, Ga.


  • Traveling with the intent to engage in illicit sexual conduct, 1 count

  • Attempted coercion and enticement, 1 count




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United States Attorney’s Office, District of Minnesota: (612) 664-5600


The charges contained in the criminal complaint are merely allegations, and the defendant is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty.

Updated March 8, 2016