TAMPA -- A Bradenton man has been sentenced to 15 years in federal prison for trying to have sex with a minor.
Erasmo Aguinaga, 36, was convicted Sept. 19, on a charge of attempted child enticement, according to a news release from the U.S. attorney's office in Tampa on Monday.
According to evidence presented in trial, Aguinaga in March communicated online with an individual he believed was a 14-year-old girl but was, in fact, an undercover agent who was part of an investigation to identify and arrest individuals who were trying to exploit children over the Internet.
Aguinaga asked about the girl's sexual history and used graphic and explicit language to ask if the "child" would have sex at him. Later the same day, he asked for the "child's" address and drove to her purported home, where he was arrested, according to the U.S. attorney's office.
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"Criminals who prey on our children remain a top priority for Homeland Security Investigations," said Susan L. McCormick, special agent in charge of the HSI office in Tampa, which led the investigation. "This should serve as a warning to criminals and a reminder to parents on the dangers facing our children in the cyber environment."
The case was brought as part of Project Safe Childhood, a nationwide initiative launched n May 2006 by the U.S. Department of Justice.