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Justice News

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

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Monday, August 3, 2015

Federal Way, Washington Man Sentenced to Nearly 20 Years in Prison for Directing Child Rape Over the Internet

Convicted Sex Offender Victimized Young Girls in Philippines

A 66-year-old Federal Way, Washington man was sentenced today in U.S. District Court in Seattle to 238 months in prison and lifetime supervised release for receipt and possession of child pornography, announced U.S. Attorney Annette L. Hayes.  ANDREW MARK SALAZAR pleaded guilty in April 2015, admitting that he directed women to perform sex acts on young children while he watched the rapes via webcam.  The victims were impoverished children in the Philippines whose family members were paid for producing the images of sex assault.  At sentencing U.S. District Judge James L. Robart said SALAZAR “bears responsibility for directing conduct by others to victimize these children… The conduct is beyond the limits of what society accepts and will not be tolerated.”

            “This defendant thought he could hide behind a computer screen while he reached across the world and horrifically damaged young children,” said U.S. Attorney Annette L. Hayes.  “Stopping this kind of child exploitation is a top priority whether the victims are here at home or half way around the world.  I commend those who reported the crime to law enforcement, and the agents and officers of the U.S. Secret Service and Federal Way Police Department who fully investigated and put an end to this criminal conduct.”

            According to records filed in the case, SALAZAR came to the attention of law enforcement in Western Washington when he brought his phone into a Sprint store to transfer pictures and data to a new phone.  Technicians discovered images of children being sexually assaulted on the phone.  A subsequent search of SALAZAR’s home revealed several devices with images of children from foreign countries being sexually assaulted while the defendant directed the conduct via webcam and chat sessions.  SALAZAR made payment through Western Union and PayPal, and threatened to stop paying the women if they did not follow his directions.

            SALAZAR has a prior conviction for rape of a 13-year-old girl in Texas in 1975.

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.

The case was investigated by the Federal Way Police Department and U.S. Secret Service.  The case is being prosecuted by Cecelia Gregson.  Ms. Gregson is a Senior Deputy King County prosecutor specially designated to prosecute child exploitation cases in federal court.

Topic(s): 
Cyber Crime
Project Safe Childhood
Updated August 3, 2015