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Press Release

Local Man Heads to Prison After Answering “Casual Encounter” Ad in Craigslist

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

BROWNSVILLE, Texas –A 52-year-old resident of McAllen has been ordered to prison following his conviction of enticement of a child, announced U.S. Attorney Ryan K. Patrick.

Juan Carlos Bautista began trial Jan. 30, 2019. However, after opening statements and testimony of four government witness, he decided to enter a guilty plea the same day.  

Today, U.S. District Judge Fernando Rodriguez Jr. sentenced Bautista to a 120-month-term of federal imprisonment. He was further ordered to serve 10 years on supervised release following completion of his prison term, during which time he will have to comply with numerous requirements designed to restrict his access to children and the internet. Bautista will also be ordered to register as a sex offender.

On Jan. 19, 2017, law enforcement placed an advertisement on the Brownsville Craigslist website under “casual encounters” section. Bautista responded to the ad via email expressing an interest in pursuing a sexual relationship with a 13-year-old minor female.

Bautista made arrangements to meet who he thought was the young female in Harlingen for the purpose of a sexual encounter. He was taken into custody upon his arrival Feb. 8, 2017.

Bautista will remain in custody pending transfer to a U.S. Bureau of Prisons facility to be determined in the near future.

Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s Homeland Security Investigations conducted the investigation in conjunction with the Rio Grande Valley Child Exploitation and Investigation Task Force. 

Assistant U.S. Attorneys Ana Cano and Jose A. Esquivel Jr. are prosecuting the case, which was brought as part of Project Safe Childhood, a nationwide initiative launched in May 2006 by the Department of Justice to combat the growing epidemic of child sexual exploitation and abuse. Led by the United States Attorneys' Offices and the Criminal Division's Child Exploitation and Obscenity Section, Project Safe Childhood marshals federal, state and local resources to locate, apprehend and prosecute individuals who sexually exploit children, and to identify and rescue victims. For more information about Project Safe Childhood, please visit For more information about internet safety education, please visit and click on the tab "resources."

Updated May 23, 2019

Project Safe Childhood