Marysville Man Pleads Guilty To Coercion Of A Minor
Public Affairs Officer
COLUMBUS – Justin S. Mote, 33, of Marysville pleaded guilty in U.S. District Court today to one count of using the internet to coerce a minor to engage in unlawful sexual activity. The plea agreement provides for a sentence between 240 and 300 months in prison.
Carter M. Stewart, United States Attorney for the Southern District of Ohio, William Hayes, acting special agent in charge of U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) in Ohio and Michigan, and members of the Franklin County Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force (ICAC), announced the plea entered today before U.S. District Judge Edmund A. Sargus, Jr.
According to testimony presented during the plea hearing, Mote met a 12-year old girl online and went to Connecticut and Pennsylvania to visit her in 2012. Franklin County ICAC investigators received information from a Newtown, Connecticut police officer on October 16, 2012 after the girl’s father found letters, text messages and gifts from Mote. Investigators executed a search warrant at Mote’s residence on October 19 and found fully nude photographs of the victim on various media devices including a tablet computer belonging to Mote.
Mote, who was under indictment on state charges of attempted unlawful sexual contact with a minor and importuning in connection with a separate incident that occurred in August 2011, was arrested. He has been in custody since his arrest.
This case was brought as part of Project Safe Childhood, a nationwide initiative designed to protect children from online exploitation and abuse. Led by the U.S. Attorneys Offices, Project Safe Childhood marshals federal, state and local resources to better locate, apprehend and prosecute individuals who exploit children, as well as identify and rescue victims. For more information about Project Safe Childhood, please visit www.projectsafechildhood.gov/.
Stewart commended the investigation by HSI agents and ICAC task force officers, as well as Assistant U.S. Attorney Heather Hill, who is prosecuting the case.
The court will conduct a pre-sentence investigation before accepting the terms of the plea agreement and schedule a date for sentencing.