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

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Monday, November 14, 2022

Palestinian National Indicted for Attempted Coercion of a Minor for Sex

PITTSBURGH - A Palestinian national has been indicted by a federal grand jury in Pittsburgh on a charge of attempted coercion and enticement of a minor to engage in illegal sexual activity, United States Attorney Cindy K. Chung announced today.

The one-count Indictment, returned on Nov. 9, 2022, named Huthayfa Almassri, 31, as the sole defendant.

According to the indictment, from June 14, 2022, until Oct. 16, 2022, Almassri used the Internet and a cellular telephone to knowingly attempt to persuade, induce, entice, and coerce an individual who had not attained the age of 18 years to engage in sexual activity.

The law provides for a maximum total sentence of life in prison, a fine of $250,000 or both. Under the Federal Sentencing Guidelines, the actual sentence imposed would be based upon the seriousness of the offense and the prior criminal history, if any, of the defendant.

Assistant United States Attorney Heidi M. Grogan is prosecuting this case on behalf of the government.

The Federal Bureau of Investigation and the FBI Pittsburgh Child Exploitation and Human Trafficking Task Force conducted the investigation leading to the Indictment in this case.
An indictment is an accusation. A defendant is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty.

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.justice.gov/psc.

Topic(s): 
Project Safe Childhood
Updated November 14, 2022