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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
District of New Jersey

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Tuesday, July 13, 2021

Paterson Man Sentenced to 95 Months in Prison for Coercion and Enticement of Minor

NEWARK, N.J. – A Passaic County man was sentenced today to 95 months in prison for coercion and enticement of a minor and for illegally re-entering the United States, Acting U.S. Attorney Rachael A. Honig announced.

Juan Carlos Morales Pedraza, 35, of Paterson, New Jersey, previously pleaded guilty by videoconference before U.S. District Judge Stanley R. Chesler to a superseding information charging him with coercion and enticement of a minor and of illegally re-entering the United States after having previously been deported. Judge Chesler imposed the sentence by videoconference today.

According to documents filed in this case and statements made in court:

On April 13, 2019, Morales Pedraza approached a 15-year-old victim in Passaic County.  Two days later, after engaging in sexual intercourse with the victim, Morales Pedraza and the victim left the New Jersey, with plans to travel to Illinois. Morales Pedraza admitted that he planned to engage in sexual conduct with the victim in Illinois. Law enforcement arrested Morales Pedraza in Ohio. 

Morales Pedraza admitted that he is a citizen of Mexico and that he illegally entered the United States after having previously been deported.

In addition to the prison term, Judge Chesler sentenced Morales Pedraza to three years of supervised release.

Acting U.S. Attorney Honig credited special agents of the FBI, under the direction of Special Agent in Charge George M. Crouch Jr. in Newark; the Passaic County Prosecutor’s Office’s Sexual Investigations Unit, under the direction of Prosecutor Camelia M. Valdes, and investigators with the Ohio State Highway Patrol and the Lake Township Police Department in Lake Township, Ohio, with the investigation leading to today’s sentencing.

The government is represented by Assistant U.S. Attorney Francesca Liquori of the Organized Crime and Gangs Unit.

Topic(s): 
Project Safe Childhood
Component(s): 
Press Release Number: 
21-312
Updated July 13, 2021