Long Beach Man Who Molested 13-Year-Old in Mexico Sentenced to 10 Years in Prison: DOJ

A Long Beach man was sentenced to 10 years in prison after admitting to traveling to Mexico to have sex with a 13-year-old and later persuading her to produce and send him child pornography in the U.S., federal officials announced Monday.

According to the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Central District of California, 32-year-old Jonathan Sandoval-Lepe pleaded guilty in November 2018 to federal charges of engaging in illicit sexual conduct in a foreign place and receiving child pornography depicting other victims.

His plea agreement said starting in the spring of 2015, Sandoval-Lepe traveled to Baja California to have sex with the victim, who was 13 at the time. This continued over the course of two years.

In August 2017, according to the plea, the man knowingly received and downloaded child pornography through a peer-to-peer network.

The next month, he “enticed” the then 15-year-old victim to produce and send him child pornography while he was in California, a statement from the U.S. Attorney’s Office said.

Investigators later reported finding more than 600 images and videos of child pornography, some of them depicting children under 12.

Officials said in addition to spending 10 years in a federal prison, Sandoval-Lepe will have to pay $15,000 in restitution to his victims. That includes $10,000 to the victim in Mexico.

A judge also ordered him to pay $10,000 to the government’s Domestic Trafficking Victims’ Fund, a government program that awards grants to states and municipalities to help with efforts against trafficking crimes and child abuse.

Sandoval-Lepe will remain on federal supervised release for the rest of his life upon his release, the U.S. Attorney’s Office said.

The Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department and the FBI investigated the case with assistance from Mexican law enforcement officers.


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