Massachusetts Resident Pleads Guilty to Illicit Sexual Conduct Charges
PROVIDENCE – Rafael P. Leal, 39, of Boston, Mass., pleaded guilty in U.S. District Court in Providence, R.I., today to charges that he traveled to Rhode Island to entice a minor child to engage in illicit sexual conduct.
Appearing before U.S. District Court Judge William E. Smith, Leal admitted to the court that on at least four occasions during 2016 he traveled into Rhode Island to engage in sexual activity with a minor. Leal admitted to the court that he enticed the minor through messages he sent via the Internet and text messages.
Leal was arrested by FBI agents at his Massachusetts residence on November 22, 2016.
Leal’s guilty plea to one count each of using means of interstate commerce (Internet) to entice a minor to engage in sexual activity and interstate travel to engage in sexual activity with a minor is announced by acting United States Attorney Stephen G. Dambruch; Harold H. Shaw, Special Agent in Charge of the FBI Boston Division; and Bristol Police Chief Josue D. Canario.
Leal, who has been detained since his arrest, is scheduled to be sentenced on September 11, 2017.
Using means of interstate commerce to entice a minor to engage in sexual activity is punishable by a statutory penalty of a mandatory minimum of 10 years up to life imprisonment; interstate travel to engage in sexual activity with a minor is punishable by a statutory penalty of up to 30 years imprisonment.
The case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney John P. McAdams.