Kennesaw man sentenced for attempting to entice minor for sex
ATLANTA - Joshua Herrera, who attempted to arrange to meet a minor girl for sex online, has been sentenced to federal prison for enticing a minor to engage in illegal sexual activity.
“Online predators, like Herrera, mistakenly believe that they can anonymously exploit social media and apps to sexually abuse young children,” said U.S. Attorney Ryan K. Buchanan. “But the tireless efforts of federal, state, and local investigators make it possible to hold these perpetrators accountable. We strongly encourage parents to remain vigilant in monitoring their children’s use of electronic devices and to immediately report suspicious activity to law enforcement.”
“The severity of this sentence clearly reflects the threat Herrera posed to the community and is the greatest message the FBI can send to anyone who would think about harming a child in this way,” said Keri Farley, Special Agent in Charge of FBI Atlanta. “This is case shows the lengths the FBI will go to thwart child predators and we are thankful for the hard work of our team that connected with Herrera before he could get to an innocent child.”
According to U.S. Attorney Buchanan, the charges and other information presented in court: On November 19, 2019, Joshua Herrera communicated online with an undercover special agent and expressed interest in performing sex acts on a minor girl, requested photographs of the child, and arranged to meet the girl. On January 16, 2020, Herrera drove from Athens, Georgia, to a pre-arranged location in metro-Atlanta where he believed he would meet the child. FBI special agents arrested him upon his arrival.
Joshua Herrera, 29, of Kennesaw, Georgia, was sentenced by U.S. District Judge Steven D. Grimberg to 19 and a half years in prison to be followed by a lifetime of supervised release. He is also required to register as a sex offender. Herrera was convicted of the offense on March 30, 2023, after a four-day jury trial.
The FBI investigated this case.
Assistant U.S. Attorneys Stephanie Gabay-Smith and Jesika W. French prosecuted the case.
This case is being brought as part of Project Safe Childhood. In February 2006, the Attorney General launched Project Safe Childhood, a nationwide initiative designed to protect children from online exploitation and abuse. Led by the United States Attorney’s Offices around the country, Project Safe Childhood marshals federal, state and local resources to apprehend and prosecute individuals who exploit children. For more information about Project Safe Childhood, please visit www.projectsafechildhood.gov.
For further information please contact the U.S. Attorney’s Public Affairs Office at USAGAN.PressEmails@usdoj.gov or (404) 581-6016. The Internet address for the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Northern District of Georgia is http://www.justice.gov/usao-ndga.