Mass. Resident Allegedly Traveled to RI to Engage in Illicit Sex with a Minor
PROVIDENCE – Alexander Viola, 28, of Shrewsbury, MA., was arraigned on Tuesday in U.S. District Court in Providence on a charge of travelling across state lines with the intent to engage in illicit sexual conduct.
It is alleged that Viola traveled to Rhode Island in July with the intent to engage in illicit sexual conduct with a person he believed to be a 15-year-old female he had been communicating with on the Internet. The person he allegedly solicited was actually a Rhode Island State Police trooper assigned to the Internet Crimes Against Children (ICAC) Task Force.
Alexander Viola’s indictment and arraignment are announced by United States Attorney Peter F. Neronha; Colonel Ann C. Assumpico, Acting Superintendent of the Rhode Island State Police; and Matthew J. Etre, Special Agent in Charge of Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) for New England.
It is alleged that for about 10 days beginning in early July, Viola communicated online and by text message with a person he believed to be a 15-year-old girl. It is alleged that Viola turned the conversations to a sexual nature. On July 12, 2016, Viola allegedly traveled to Rhode Island from his Massachusetts residence with the intent to meet with the 15-year-old girl and to engage in sexual activity. Upon his arrival at a previously agreed upon location, Viola was arrested by members of the ICAC Task Force. He was released following an appearance in Rhode Island state court.
Viola, arrested on a federal arrest warrant on Tuesday by members of the ICAC Task Force and HSI agents, was released on unsecured bond with electronic monitoring following his arraignment before U.S. District Court Magistrate Judge Patricia A. Sullivan.
An indictment is merely an allegation and is not evidence of guilt. A defendant is entitled to a fair trial in which it will be the government’s burden to prove guilt beyond a reasonable doubt.
The case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney John P. McAdams.