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Press Release

Providence Man Sentenced to Ten Years in Federal Prison for Enticing Minor Children to Engage in Illicit Sexual Activity

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, District of Rhode Island

PROVIDENCE, RI – A Providence man who admittedly coerced a 10-year-old Utah girl and more than a dozen other minor females to engage in sexually explicit conduct while he recorded their actions via a live internet link that he provided to them has been sentenced to 10 years in federal prison, announced United States Attorney Zachary A. Cunha

According to information presented to the court, Akinola Akinlapa, 23, engaged in online communications with approximately 75 minor females, some of whom had not yet reached puberty, in a similar fashion, coercing 15 of them to disrobe and to perform sexual acts while he watched and recorded them.

 “This case is a sobering reminder of the ways in which technology enables predators to abuse their victims and inflict harm, even over great distances,” remarked U.S. Attorney Cunha.  “Thanks to the bravery of one young girl, and the diligent work of our law enforcement partners, this defendant will be held accountable for his repeated, persistent and abhorrent efforts to victimize young children for his own gratification.”

“What Akinola Akinlapa did -- in sexually exploiting dozens of children-- was cruel and disgraceful, and with this sentence, this predator will not be able to harm any more children for quite some time,” said Jodi Cohen, Special Agent in Charge of the FBI Boston Division. “This case is a prime example of how children can be victimized in the safety of their own homes and underscores the importance of talking to kids about the dangers of the internet. Parents, caregivers, and educators, please make it clear to your kids that they are not to blame if they fall victim and please report these incidents, so the FBI and our law enforcement partners can bring the perpetrators of these crimes to justice.”

According to charging documents and information presented to the court, Akinlapa engaged the Utah girl in online communications and text messages, and provided her with a video conferencing link, promising credits for use on an online gaming platform. Once connected, Akinlapa, who hid his face from view, but who could see and hear the young girl, told her that because of their communications he now had her IP address and other personal information. Akinlapa threatened to share the information on the internet if she did not disrobe and perform a sex act. The young girl feigned performing the sex act, and courageously reported the incident to her mother, who in turn contacted the West Valley City, Utah Police Department. West Valley City Police and FBI agents in Salt Lake City and in Providence identified an IP address at Akinlapa’s Providence residence as being the source of communications with the 10-year-old Utah girl.  Akinlapa’s pattern of coercion with the 14 other girls was similar.

According to information presented to the court, on June 2, 2020, members of the Providence FBI Violent Crimes Against Children Task Force executed a court-authorized search of computers and smart phones belonging to Akinlapa. A forensic review revealed evidence that Akinlapa had victimized the Utah girl and 14 other young girls, and had attempted to do the same with approximately 60 other minor girls, but was unsuccessful. Images and videos of minors engaged in illicit sexual activity recorded by Akinlapa were found on his phone.

Akinlapa pleaded guilty on June 15, 2022, to charges of enticement of a minor to engage in illicit sexual activity and possession of child pornography. He was sentenced on January 11, 2024, to 120 months of incarceration to be followed by eight years of federal supervised release.

The case was prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Milind M. Shah.

For more information on sextortion and financial sextortion, visit the FBI’s resources on the threats at: https://www.fbi.gov/sextortion and https://www.fbi.gov/how-we-can-help-you/scams-and-safety/common-scams-and-crimes/sextortion/financially-motivated-sextortion.

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Contact

Jim Martin

(401) 709-5357

Updated January 16, 2024

Topic
Project Safe Childhood
Press Release Number: 24-02