Multiple Defendants Sentenced as Part of United States Department of Justice Project Safe Childhood Initiative
DES MOINES, Iowa – The United States Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of Iowa recently obtained several convictions against defendants committing offenses against minor children, as part of the United States Department of Justice Project Safe Childhood Initiative, announced United States Attorney Marc Krickbaum.
On March 1, 2018, United States District Court Judge Stephanie M. Rose sentenced Gabriel Espinoza, age 23, of Marshalltown, to 25 years in prison for sexual exploitation of a minor. Upon his release from imprisonment, Espinoza will serve 25 years of supervised release.
The investigation into Espinoza’s crime started in March 2017, when law enforcement in Bucks County, Pennsylvania learned a 10-year-old female had been sexually exploited via social media by Espinoza, a registered sex offender. Within days, Espinoza was located and arrested by the Iowa ICAC Task Force. After additional investigation, law enforcement learned Espinoza had also victimized a minor female in Minnesota. This matter was investigated by the Iowa Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force (ICAC), Bucks County (PA) District Attorney’s Office, Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension, Iowa Division of Narcotics Enforcement, Iowa State Patrol, Marshalltown Police Department, Ankeny Police Department, and Iowa Division of Intelligence.
On December 8, 2017, United States District Court Judge Rebecca Goodgame Ebinger sentenced Gaspar Jose Francisco, age 27, of Osceola, to 14 years imprisonment for enticement and attempted enticement of a minor to engage in illicit sexual activities. Upon his release from imprisonment, Francisco will serve five years of supervised release.
This investigation was initiated by a report to the Osceola Police Department that alleged possible sexual abuse of a minor child by an adult who lived nearby. Further investigation revealed Francisco used social media to entice a 13-year-old female to engage in illegal sexual activity with him. This matter was investigated by the Iowa ICAC, Osceola Police Department, United States Department of Homeland Security – Homeland Security Investigations, and Iowa Attorney General’s Office.
On November 17, 2017, United States District Court Judge Rebecca Goodgame Ebinger sentenced Jordan Adolfo Turner, age 25, of Muscatine, to 20 years imprisonment for receipt of child pornography. Upon his release from imprisonment, Turner will serve 10 years of supervised release. This investigation was initiated by a tip from an Iowa man to the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), which alleged a 13-year-old boy was being sexually exploited via social media by an adult male. Further investigation by Iowa ICAC revealed Turner solicited and received nude images and/or videos from seven other minors that resided in Iowa. This matter was investigated by the Iowa ICAC, FBI (Minneapolis Field Office and Omaha Field Office), and Muscatine Police Department.
These cases were prosecuted by the United States Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of Iowa as part of the U.S. Department of Justice’s “Project Safe Childhood” initiative, which was started in 2006 as a nation-wide effort to combine law enforcement investigations and prosecutions, community action, and public awareness in order to reduce the incidence of sexual exploitation of children.
Any persons having knowledge of a child being sexually abused are encouraged to call the 24-hour Iowa Sexual Abuse Hotline at 1-800-284-7821. The National Center for Missing and Exploited Children (NCMEC) also operates a Cyber Tip line at www.cybertipline.com that allows parents and children to report child pornography and other incidents of sexual exploitation of children by submitting an online form.