South Texas Woman Convicted of Sex Trafficking Of A Minor
CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas – A 55-year-old Brownsville woman has entered a plea to one count of sex trafficking of a nine-year-old girl, announced Acting U.S. Attorney Abe Martinez.
Maria Candelaria Losoya appeared before U.S. Magistrate Judge B. Janice Ellington and admitted she was responsible for the continued sexual assault of a nine-year-old victim which began in Brownsville in 2012. Later, she traveled with the victim so that the assault could continue. She further admitted that she did so in exchange for money.
“Rescuing the children from these situations is our immediate concern,” said Mark Dawson, special agent in charge of Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) in Houston. “While we cannot give back the innocence that's been stolen from them, we can make sure that those who commit these horrible crimes are brought to justice.”
Sentencing is set before U.S. District Judge Nelva Gonzales Ramos on Nov. 16, 2017. At that time, Losoya faces a minimum of 15 years and up to life in federal prison and a possible $250,00 maximum fine. Upon completion of any prison term imposed, Losoya also faces a maximum of life on supervised release during which time the court can impose a number of special conditions designed to protect children and prohibit the use of the Internet. Losoya will also be required to register as a sex offender.
She was permitted to remain on bond pending her sentencing hearing.
HSI, Texas Rangers and police departments in Brownsville and Rockport conducted the investigation.
This case, prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Hugo R. Martinez, 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 www.usdoj.gov/psc. For more information about internet safety education, please visit www.usdoj.gov/psc and click on the tab "resources."