A Murrieta man pleaded guilty Monday to traveling overseas for the purpose of engaging in sexual activity with a teenager.
Derek Lorenzo Longoria, 29, admitted the federal charge under a plea agreement with the U.S. Attorney’s Office.
U.S. District Judge Jesus Bernal scheduled a sentencing hearing for May 7 at the federal courthouse in downtown Riverside. Longoria, who is free on a $50,000 bond, is facing between seven and 10 years in federal prison.
The complaint against the defendant lists nine charges, including possession of child pornography, engaging in illicit sexual conduct in foreign places and use of interstate commerce to induce a minor to engage in sexual activity. However, prosecutors agreed to drop all but one count in exchange for Longoria’s admission.
According to the U.S. Attorney’s Office, the defendant initiated communication with the victim, identified only as a 15-year-old British girl, in 2011 and traveled to the United Kingdom in September of that year to meet her.
The two had a sexual encounter then and again in January 2012, prosecutors alleged.
During the 2012 meeting, Longoria used his smart phone to capture video of their intimate moments, according to the U.S. Attorney’s Office.
“Longoria used the Internet and telephone calls to communicate with the victim over a two-year period, during which he convinced the victim to take sexually explicit photos and videos of herself, which she then sent to Longoria,” according to an agency statement. “In his plea agreement, Longoria admitted that he knowingly possessed a child porn video depicting (the) victim.”
The girl disclosed her encounters with the defendant to British authorities in March 2015, culminating in a U.S. Department of Homeland Security investigation. Longoria was arrested in November 2016.
According to court records, the defendant initially attempted to mount a defense based on his mental health, seeking to have the case dismissed, but the effort was unsuccessful.
Longoria has no prior documented felony convictions in Riverside County.
–City News Service