Federal Criminal Defense in Miami
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Sex Tourism

Sex tourism is a serious federal crime and a rising number of “sex tourists” have been arrested in South Florida and charged in federal court. Recently, a 46 year old man from Broward was arrested after allegedly traveling to Colombia to engage in sexual encounters with girls as young as 11 years old. He now is facing 15 years in federal prison, followed by 25 years of supervised release.

According to the Sun-Sentinel:

A Broward man who admitted he traveled to South America and had sex with child prostitutes blamed what he called the Colombian culture for tempting and corrupting him when he was sentenced to prison Tuesday.

Dennis De Jesus, 46, of North Lauderdale, pleaded guilty to federal sex tourism and child pornography possession charges earlier this year. He admitted he traveled to Colombia for sex with two girls, ages 14 and 16.

But at his sentencing in federal court in Fort Lauderdale, De Jesus told the judge that he had tried to live a "normal life" but was tempted by "the consenting practices of that people and culture."

"I got lost and corrupted," De Jesus told the judge.

"I've never set out to hurt anyone … I just made a stupid mistake, that's all," De Jesus concluded.

U.S. District Judge James Cohn told De Jesus that a stern punishment was appropriate.

The judge sentenced De Jesus to 15 years in federal prison, followed by 25 years of supervised release. He also ordered De Jesus to undergo sex offender treatment, barred him from having contact with children other than his relatives, and ordered him to register as a sex offender when he is released from prison.

"The victimization of children and the elderly is the most reprehensible of all criminal acts for these are the members of our society who are most vulnerable," Cohn said in court. "These were girls, ages 14 and 16."

In April, De Jesus pleaded guilty to two counts of engaging in illicit sexual conduct in a foreign place, two counts of enticing or coercing underage girls into sexual activity and one count of possession of child pornography.

He was arrested in October in an international undercover investigation of a sex-trafficking ring that exploited child prostitutes in three cities in Colombia, according to Homeland Security Investigations.

Authorities had received a tip that De Jesus was one of several U.S. citizens who traveled to Colombian resorts to have sex with teen girls.