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Justice News

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

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Tuesday, August 30, 2022

Active Duty Soldier at JBLM Pleads Guilty on Charges He Traveled to Foreign Country for Sex with Children

Also Produced Child Pornography with Over a Dozen Child Victims

Tacoma – A former Staff Sergeant stationed at Joint Base Lewis-McChord (JBLM) pleaded guilty today in U.S. District Court in Tacoma to charges related to traveling to a foreign country with the intent to engage in illicit sexual activity with a child, sex trafficking of children, as well as production of child pornography. Moeun Yoeun, 37, of Steilacoom, Washington, faces a maximum penalty of up to life in prison when he is sentenced by U.S. District Judge Benjamin Settle on December 5, 2022.

In his plea agreement, Yoeun admitted to, over the course of several years, using adult and child residents of the Philippines to recruit more than a dozen other children to produce pornography. Yoeun further admitted to travelling to the Philippines and engaging in sexual acts with at least 6 children in exchange for nominal amounts of money.

Yoeun pleaded guilty to one count of Sex Trafficking of Children, one count of Production of Child Pornography, and one count of Engaging in Illicit Sexual Activity in a Foreign Place. As part of the plea agreement, prosecutors agreed not to charge additional offenses available based on the evidence and moved to dismiss the remaining counts in the indictment.

Other than the 15-year mandatory minimum prison sentence required by law, Judge Settle can impose any sentence op to the maximum penalty of life in prison.  Yoeun will be required to register as a sex offender after he is released from prison and could face federal supervision for the rest of his life.

The FBI and U.S. Army CID, with the assistance of the Philippine National Police, investigated this case as part of the South Sound Child Exploitation Task Force. The case was prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorneys Grady J. Leupold and Matthew P. Hampton.

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 United States Attorneys’ Offices and the Criminal Division's Child Exploitation and Obscenity Section (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 www.justice.gov/psc

Topic(s): 
Project Safe Childhood
Contact: 
Press contact for the U.S. Attorney’s Office is Executive Assistant United States Attorney Victoria Cantore at (206) 553-8284 or Victoria.Cantore@usdoj.gov.
Updated August 30, 2022