You are here

Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
Western District of Missouri

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Monday, December 16, 2019

Carthage Sex Offender Pleads Guilty After Impregnating 14-Year-Old Victim

Faces at Least 25 Years in Prison

SPRINGFIELD, Mo. – A prior sex offender in Carthage, Missouri, who impregnated a 14-year-old victim, pleaded guilty in federal court today to the sexual exploitation of a child.

Victor Alfonso Vasquez, 33, pleaded guilty before U.S. District Judge M. Douglas Harpool to the sexual exploitation of a child. Vasquez is a prior sex offender with prior felony convictions for statutory rape and statutory sodomy.

The investigation began when the 14-year-old victim, identified in court documents as “Jane Doe,” visited a health clinic for a pregnancy test, which indicated she was more than eight weeks pregnant. The victim told investigators she met Vasquez while playing a game on her cell phone when she was 13 years old. Vasquez then began contacting her via Facebook Messenger. They also exchanged sexually explicit images via SnapChat. During their online relationship, Vasquez discussed having a sexual relationship with Jane Doe, and he discussed physically meeting her to have sex.

On Jan. 19, 2018, Jane Doe lied to her mother at Vasquez’s direction and asked her mother to drop her off at a friend’s house. Her mother actually dropped her off at Vasquez’s residence, when Vasquez began a physical relationship with the child victim that lasted for several months.

Under federal statutes, Vasquez is subject to a mandatory minimum sentence of 25 years in federal prison without parole, up to a sentence of 50 years in federal prison without parole. The maximum statutory sentence is prescribed by Congress and is provided here for informational purposes, as the sentencing of the defendant will be determined by the court based on the advisory sentencing guidelines and other statutory factors. A sentencing hearing will be scheduled after the completion of a presentence investigation by the United States Probation Office.

This case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Ami Harshad Miller. It was investigated by the FBI, the Joplin, Mo., Police Department, and the Southwest Missouri Cyber Crimes Task Force.

Project Safe Childhood
This case 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."

Topic(s): 
Project Safe Childhood
Updated December 16, 2019