Soza pled guilty to enticing a minor to engage in sexual activity on Aug. 10, 2012. According to court records, the investigation into Soza began after a father in Canada found sexually explicit photos of his daughter and conversations between his daughter and Soza on her iPod. The girl met Soza online and informed him that she was 15-year-old virgin. From April 2011 through February 2012, Soza enticed the girl to send dozens of naked photos of herself and engage in sexually explicit conduct for him using a webcam. Soza also made plans on multiple occasions to travel to Canada to have sexual relations with her and bring her to the United States. On or about February 17, 2012, he drove from the United States to Canada and engaged in sexual intercourse with her.
In addition to the 15-year-old victim, Soza was simultaneously enticing several other minor girls between the ages of 12 to 15, sending thousands of text messages to the young girls.
Neil H. MacBride, United States Attorney for the Eastern District of Virginia, and John P. Torres, Special Agent in Charge for U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) in Washington, D.C., made the announcement after sentencing by United States District Judge James C. Cacheris.
The investigation was conducted by HSI Washington, D.C., and the Niagara Regional Police, with assistance from the Northern Virginia/District of Columbia Internet Crimes Against Children (ICAC) Task Force. Special Assistant United States Attorney Maureen C. Cain is prosecuting the case on behalf of the United States.
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.usdoj.gov/psc. For more information about internet safety education, please visit www.usdoj.gov/psc and click on the tab â€œresources.â€
This investigation was also part of Operation Predator, a nationwide HSI initiative to protect children from sexual predators, including those who travel overseas for sex with minors, Internet child pornographers, criminal alien sex offenders and child sex traffickers. HSI encourages the public to report suspected child predators and any suspicious activity through its toll-free hotline at 1-866-DHS-2-ICE or by completing its online tip form. Both are staffed around the clock by investigators.