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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
District of Minnesota

Wednesday, December 16, 2015

Wisconsin Man Sentenced to 51 Months in Prison for Traveling Overseas to Engage in Illicit Sexual Conduct

United States Attorney Andrew M. Luger announced the sentencing of STEVEN RICHARD SMASAL, 48, to 51 months in prison for traveling abroad to engage in illicit sexual conduct. SMASAL pleaded on guilty on July 24, 2015, before U.S. District Judge John R. Tunheim. He was sentenced today in U.S. District Court in Minneapolis, Minn., before now Senior U.S. District Judge Tunheim.

“This sentence serves as a warning to all those who would consider traveling  overseas to sexually exploit children, ” said acting Special Agent in Charge William Lowder of HSI St. Paul. “Sex tourism is a crime in the United States. HSI and our law enforcement partners here and around the world will aggressively pursue those who attempt to harm children, no matter where that may be.” 

According to the defendant’s guilty plea, on February 24, 2015, SMASAL, who had spent significant time teaching in the Philippines, was scheduled to travel from the Twin Cities to Beijing via Toronto. The purpose of his trip was to teach English in Beijing and to engage in illicit sexual conduct with minor girls in the Phillippines.

According to the defendant’s guilty plea, SMASAL communicated with at least two females, one of whom was the mother of a 14-year-old girl. SMASAL indicated to the woman that he would like to meet her and her 14-year-old daughter in the Phillippines, at one point stating, “…understand that I will want you and ur daughter.” SMASAL later stated, “Is it ok that I have sex with ur daughter?” Finally, he asked, “Can I just have ur daughter then?”

This case was brought as part of Project Safe Childhood, a nationwide initiative to combat the growing epidemic of child sexual exploitation and abuse launched in May 2006 by the Department of Justice.  Led by U.S. Attorney’s Offices and CEOS, Project Safe Childhood marshals federal, state and local resources to better locate, apprehend and prosecute individuals who exploit children via the Internet, as well as to identify and rescue victims.  For more information about Project Safe Childhood, please visit

Assistant U.S. Attorney Laura M. Provinzino prosecuted the case.

Defendant Information:

Eau Claire, Wisc.


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


  • 51 months in prison
  • 15 years of supervised release
Updated December 18, 2015