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Press Release

Armed Security Guard At Manhattan Federal Building Pleads Guilty In Connection With Sexual Assault Of Asylum Seeker

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, Southern District of New York

Damian Williams, the United States Attorney for the Southern District of New York, announced today the guilty plea of JIMMY SOLANO-ARIAS, an armed security guard at the Jacob K. Javits Federal Office Building located at 26 Federal Plaza in Manhattan, in connection with SOLANO-ARIAS’s sexual assault of an asylum seeker (the “Victim”) on May 4, 2023.  SOLANO-ARIAS pled guilty to lying to federal law enforcement agents following his sexual abuse of the Victim.  As part of his guilty plea, SOLANO-ARIAS admitted that while acting under color of law as an armed security guard at 26 Federal Plaza, he engaged in a non-consensual sexual act with the Victim.  SOLANO-ARIAS was arrested on May 5, 2023, and pled guilty today before U.S. Magistrate Judge Sarah Netburn.

U.S. Attorney Damian Williams said: “Jimmy Solano-Arias abused the trust and privileges bestowed on him as an armed security officer at a federal building.  Instead of working to keep the many federal employees and visitors at 26 Federal Plaza safe, Solano-Arias exploited his position of authority to sexually abuse an individual seeking asylum protection in the United States.  This Office is committed to holding all those in positions of public trust accountable when they abuse their power and violate the constitutional rights of others.”

According to the allegations in the Indictment, Superseding Information, other public court documents, and statements made during court proceedings:

On May 4, 2023, SOLANO-ARIAS was employed as a security guard by a company that contracts with the Federal Protective Service of the Department of Homeland Security to provide armed security services at 26 Federal Plaza.  SOLANO-ARIAS wore a black and gray security guard uniform and carried his employer-issued firearm on his waistband.

Early in the morning on May 4, 2023, the Victim went to 26 Federal Plaza for the purpose of submitting an asylum application.  Once there, SOLANO-ARIAS offered to assist the Victim with his asylum paperwork.  Instead of providing assistance, however, SOLANO-ARIAS led the Victim through non-public areas of 26 Federal Plaza, eventually secluding the Victim in a locked office on the second floor.  Inside the locked office, SOLANO-ARIAS demanded that the Victim perform oral sex on SOLANO-ARIAS.  When the Victim attempted to resist SOLANO-ARIAS’s demands, SOLANO-ARIAS reached to the company-issued firearm on his person.  Fearing that SOLANO-ARIAS would kill the Victim, the Victim performed oral sex on SOLANO-ARIAS, which caused physical pain and injury to the Victim.  Following the assault, when the Victim was able to leave the office, he immediately reported the sexual assault to law enforcement.

The following morning, when SOLANO-ARIAS arrived at 26 Federal Plaza for his shift, law enforcement agents with the Federal Bureau of Investigation (“FBI”) approached SOLANO-ARIAS and asked to speak with him.  SOLANO-ARIAS agreed to speak with the federal agents.  During the interview that followed, SOLANO-ARIAS lied to the federal agents about his sexual abuse of the Victim, initially disclaiming entirely that he had engaged in a sexual act with the Victim and then falsely claiming that the sexual act was consensual when it was not.  SOLANO-ARIAS was arrested after the interview. 

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SOLANO-ARIAS, 42, of the Bronx, New York, pled guilty to one count of making false statements to federal law enforcement agents, which carries a maximum sentence of five years in prison. 

The maximum potential sentence in this case is prescribed by Congress and is provided here for informational purposes only, as any sentencing of the defendant will be determined by a judge.

Mr. Williams praised the outstanding investigative work of the FBI.  

The prosecution of this case is being handled by the Office’s Civil Rights Unit in the Criminal Division.  Assistant U.S. Attorneys Elizabeth Espinosa and Mitzi Steiner are in charge of the prosecution.


Nicholas Biase, Lauren Scarff, Shelby Wratchford
(212) 637-2600

Updated April 10, 2024

Civil Rights
Press Release Number: 24-125