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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
District of Rhode Island

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Monday, March 12, 2018

Mass. School Employee Admits to Traveling to RI to Engage in Sex with 15-year-old

PROVIDENCE – An instructional technology support specialist employed at a Shrewsbury, MA, middle school today admitted in federal court in Providence to travelling to Rhode Island in July 2016 with the intent to engage in illicit sexual activity with a 15-year-old girl.

Alexander Viola, 29, of Shrewsbury, was arrested on July 12, 2016, after he traveled to Cranston, RI, expecting to meet with and engage in illicit sexual conduct with the 15-year-old, with whom he had been communicating on the Internet and via text messages. The person he solicited was actually a Rhode Island State Police trooper assigned to the Rhode Island State Police Internet Crimes Against Children (ICAC) Task Force.

Viola’s guilty plea to travel with intent to engage in illicit sexual conduct is announced by United States Attorney Stephen G. Dambruch, Superintendent of the Rhode Island State Police Colonel Ann C. Assumpico, and Acting Special Agent in Charge of Homeland Security Investigations for New England Michael S. Shea.

Appearing today before U.S. District Court Chief Judge William E. Smith, Viola admitted that for about 10 days, beginning in early July 2016, he communicated online and via text messages with a person he believed to be a 15-year-old girl. Viola turned the conversations to a sexual nature. On July 12, 2016, after leaving his place of employment and after making a brief stop at his residence, he traveled to Cranston, RI, to a previously agreed upon meeting place, with intent to meet with the 15-year-old girl and to engage in sexual activity. Upon his arrival, Viola was arrested by members of the ICAC Task Force. He was released following an appearance in Rhode Island state court.

Viola pleaded guilty as charged in a federal indictment returned on November 17, 2016. No plea agreement has been filed in this matter. He is scheduled to be sentenced on June 8, 2018. Travel with intent to engage in illicit sexual conduct is punishable by statutory penalties of up to 30 years in federal prison and up to lifetime supervised release.

The case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney John P. McAdams.

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Topic(s): 
Project Safe Childhood
Component(s): 
Contact: 
Jim Martin (401) 709-5357
Press Release Number: 
18-29
Updated March 12, 2018