Federal jury finds South Carolina man guilty of sexually exploiting juvenile
ALEXANDRIA, La. – United States Attorney Stephanie A. Finley announced that a federal jury found a South Carolina man guilty last week of producing child pornography and traveling to Louisiana to have sex with a juvenile.
Frankie Maldonado, 50, of Reeseville, S.C., was found guilty on January 4 of two counts of production of child pornography and one count of traveling in interstate commerce for the purpose of engaging in illicit sexual conduct with a minor. After the conclusion of the two-day trial, the jury deliberated for an hour and a half before delivering the guilty verdict. United States District Judge Dee D. Drell presided over the trial.
According to the evidence presented, Maldonado began communicating with a 15-year-old girl. The girl’s father was a friend of Maldonado. Maldonado sent sexually explicit pictures of himself to the juvenile using text messaging in June of 2014. Thereafter he requested that she send sexually explicit pictures of herself. He also traveled to Louisiana on June 22, 2014 where he picked up the juvenile, brought her to a motel, took sexually explicit pictures and engaged in sexual activity with her.
Maldonado faces up to 15 to 30 years in prison for the child pornography production counts and 30 years in prison for the traveling to engage in sexual conduct count. He also faces and five years of supervised release and a $250,000 fine. He is also required to register as a sex offender. Sentencing was set for March 24, 2017.
Homeland Security Investigations, Louisiana State Police and Natchitoches Parish Sheriff’s Office investigated the case. Assistant U.S. Attorneys John Luke Walker and Jamilla A. Bynog are prosecuting the case.
This case is part of Project Safe Childhood, a U.S. Department of Justice nationwide initiative to combat the growing epidemic of child sexual exploitation and abuse. Led by U.S. Attorneys’ Offices and the Criminal Division’s Child Exploitation and Obscenity Section, 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 www.projectsafechildhood.gov.
The U.S. Department of Homeland Security and U.S. Immigration & Customs Enforcement (ICE) also encourage the public to report suspected child predators and any suspicious activity through its toll-free hotline at (866) 347-2423. Investigators are available at all hours to answer hotline calls. Tips or other information can also be submitted to ICE online by visiting their website at www.ice.gov/exec/forms/hsi-tips/tips.asp or through the Operation Predator smartphone application www.ice.gov/predator/smartphone-app. Tips may be submitted anonymously.