Reno, Nevada - A California man who used Internet chat rooms to solicit a 15-year-old Reno girl for sex, and then traveled to Reno where he was arrested after attempting to have sex with her, was sentenced today to 10 years in federal prison, 15 years of supervised release and ordered to pay a $5,000 fine, announced U.S. Attorney Daniel G. Bogden, for the District of Nevada.
Nicholas Ponh Suon, 41, of Norwalk, California, was sentenced in Reno by U.S. District Judge Miranda M. Du. Suon pleaded guilty in January to one count of enticement of a minor to engage in illegal sexual activity and agreed to the forfeiture of his property used in the crime, including his vehicle and cellular telephone.
“There are persons trolling the Internet 24 hours-a-day looking for innocent children to harm,” said U.S. Attorney Bogden. “This case demonstrates that criminals will travel across state lines to physically harm children, and are not only having online conversations or trading sexually explicit photographs. Thanks to the dedication and skills of these investigators and prosecutors, we are able to identify, arrest and successfully prosecute these dangerous predators.”
According to the court records, beginning as early as November 2013 and continuing until August 2014, Suon engaged in a series of Internet chat and text message conversations with a 15-years-old Reno girl, which were intended to persuade and entice the girl to engage in sexually explicit conduct with Suon. The conversations were engaged in using different smart phone applications, including “Tango” and “Skout.” On Aug. 29, 2014, Suon traveled to Reno from California in order to meet the girl and to have sex with her. Suon was arrested outside the girl’s home after he attempted to engage in sexual intercourse with her in his vehicle.
The case was prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Carla Higginbotham. It was investigated by the Washoe County Sheriff’s Office and the FBI, and 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 “resources.”