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Press Release

Sexual Predator Sentenced to 120 Months for Attempting to Engage in Sexual Activity with a Teenager He Met on Facebook

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

Salt Lake City, Utah – A Salt Lake City man was sentenced today to 10 years’ imprisonment for attempting to meet a 13-year-old girl he was communicating with via Facebook Messenger – who was in fact an undercover officer. 

According to court documents, Christopher Philip Padilla, 33, of Salt Lake City, admitted that between September 2020 and January 2021 he used Facebook Messenger and his cell phone to communicate with a 13-year-old girl. On January 15, 2021, Padilla drove to an area in Salt Lake City intending to meet and engage in sexual activity with the minor. Padilla also admitted that by using Facebook Messenger and his mobile phone, the communications transferred across state lines because they were transported via the internet, a facility of interstate or foreign commerce. In addition to his sentence of 120 months’ imprisonment, Padilla was ordered to a lifetime of supervised release and must register and maintain his information under the federal Sex Offender Registration and Notification Act. 

U.S. Attorney, Trina A. Higgins, of the District of Utah made the announcement. 
The case was investigated by the Salt Lake City Police Department.

Assistant U.S. Attorney, Carol Dain, of the District of Utah prosecuted the case. 

This case was brought as part of Project Safe Childhood, a nationwide initiative to combat the growing epidemic of child sexual exploitation and abuse launched in May 2006 by the Department of Justice. Led by U.S. Attorneys’ Offices and CEOS, Project Safe Childhood marshals federal, state, and local resources to better locate, apprehend and prosecute individuals who exploit children via the Internet, as well as to identify and rescue victims. For more information about Project Safe Childhood, please visit


Felicia Martinez
Public Affairs Specialist
(801) 325-3237

Updated March 28, 2023

Project Safe Childhood
Press Release Number: 23-25