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Press Release

Former Canadian Youth Soccer Coach Sentenced to 7 Years in Prison for Seeking Sex with Person He Believed was 12-Year-Old Girl

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, Western District of Washington
Defendant Sent Sexually Explicit Photos and Conversation to Undercover Agent via the Internet

          A 47-year-old man from Surrey, British Columbia was sentenced today in U.S. District Court in Seattle to seven years in prison and ten years of supervised release for a federal sex crime, announced U.S. Attorney Annette L. Hayes.  KULDIP “KELLY” SINGH MAHAL was arrested in February 2015 at a park in Burlington, Washington, where he was expecting to meet a 12-year-old girl whom he believed he had enticed into having sexual contact with him.  MAHAL had in fact sent multiple sexually explicit messages and photos to an undercover agent with U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s Homeland Security Investigations (HSI).  At the sentencing hearing, U.S. District Judge Robert S. Lasnik said, “We have so many child victims and if we can stop abuse of real children by doing these sting operations, then it is a good use of government resources.”

          “Even with the knowledge that another man had been arrested in a similar internet enticement case, this defendant persisted in seeking sex with a 12-year-old child,” said U.S. Attorney Annette L. Hayes.  “This case should send a clear message to those trolling the internet to victimize children: you will be caught and pay with your freedom for such crimes.”

            According to records in the case, MAHAL responded to a posting on the internet in January 2015.  MAHAL sent a picture of his arms and upper body, and expressed interest in a sexual relationship.  MAHAL continued to communicate with the undercover agent even after the agent claimed she was 12-years-old.  In fact MAHAL sent sexually explicit photos of himself and repeatedly requested the “girl” send sexually explicit photos of herself back to him.  MAHAL engaged in lengthy sexualized chats via text message with the “girl.”  MAHAL crossed the border from Canada into the U.S. at Blaine, Washington and was arrested at the park where he thought he was going to meet the “girl” and have sex.

          MAHAL was employed as a facilities manager for a Vancouver, BC tech firm and was a volunteer coach for a U-16 soccer team in British Columbia.  

          “We entrust teachers and coaches to serve as role models for our children and safeguard their welfare,” said Bradford Bench, special agent in charge for HSI Seattle. “This sentence should serve as a stern warning to those who mistakenly believe cyberspace affords them anonymity and they can use the Internet to sexually exploit children with impunity.  HSI will continue to work closely with our law enforcement partners to investigate these predators and ensure that they feel the full weight of the law.”

          MAHAL will be required to register as a sex offender.

          The case was investigated by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) and is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Kate Vaughan.

Updated April 5, 2016

Project Safe Childhood