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Press Release

German National Charged With Traveling To United States To Engage In Illicit Sexual Conduct With A Minor

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

OAKLAND– Adam Soboll has been charged with traveling to the United States with the intent to engage in illicit sexual conduct with a minor, announced United States Attorney David L. Anderson and U.S. Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) San Francisco Special Agent in Charge Tatum King.  Soboll was arrested in Brentwood, Calif., on August 25, 2019, and charged by complaint on August 28, 2019.    

According to the complaint, Soboll, 31, of Germany, identified himself as a fifth grade teacher in Germany.  The complaint alleges Soboll met the then-14-year-old minor online in October 2018, and communicated with the minor from Germany using Snapchat and online gaming platforms, as well as over other messaging applications.  

In January 2019, Soboll began discussing the possibility of visiting the minor in Brentwood, Calif.  Soboll and the minor discussed where he should stay in the area and the various forms of sexual conduct in which they would engage when he arrived.  

On July 31, 2019, Soboll traveled from Europe to the United States.  Soboll stayed at a hotel in Brentwood, Calif.  Soboll engaged in sexual conduct with the minor at the hotel.  On August 25, 2019, police responded to the hotel following a report from the minor’s mother and arrested Soboll.  

Soboll is charged with traveling with the intent to engage in illicit sexual conduct, in violation of 18 U.S.C. § 2423(b).  

A complaint merely alleges that crimes have been committed, and all defendants, including Soboll, are presumed innocent until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt.  If convicted, the defendant faces a maximum statutory sentence of 30 years.  Further, additional terms of supervised release, fines, and restitution may be ordered; however, any sentence following conviction would be imposed by the court only after consideration of the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines and the federal statute governing the imposition of a sentence, 18 U.S.C. § 3553.  

Defendant made an initial federal court appearance this morning before the Honorable Donna M. Ryu, U.S. Magistrate Judge.  Magistrate Judge Ryu ordered the defendant detained pending further proceedings.  His next court appearance is scheduled for September 4, 2019, before the Honorable Kandis A. Westmore, U.S. Magistrate Judge, for a detention hearing.  

The case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Samantha Schott.  The case is being investigated by HSI, the Contra Costa District Attorney’s Office, and the Brentwood Police Department.

Updated August 29, 2019