Juan Antonio Guilty of Attempting to Sexually Exploit Child

Former South Florida Police Officer, Juan Antonio Garcia Guilty of Attempting to Sexually Exploit Child

Miami, FL (STL.News) A former police officer with the Sewall’s Point, Florida Police Department has pled guilty in Ft. Pierce federal court to attempting to sexually entice a 15-year-old boy and produce child pornography.

According to court records, Juan Antonio Garcia, 30, of Stuart, met the 15-year-old victim at a local park. Garcia befriended the boy and communicated with him in person and by text message. During one meeting, Garcia gave the boy condoms. Through text messages, Garcia taught the boy how to put on a condom, then directed the boy to masturbate, ejaculate into the condom, and send Garcia a photograph of the used item. Garcia also asked the boy to send him a video of the boy masturbating. In another text message, Garcia asked the minor to meet him at a local park for oral sex. When Garcia arrived at the park, law enforcement officers arrested him.

United States District Court Judge Aileen M. Cannon will sentence Garcia on June 13, at 11:00 a.m., in Fort Pierce. Garcia faces between 15 years to life in prison.

Juan Antonio Gonzalez, U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of Florida, and Anthony Salisbury, Special Agent in Charge, Homeland Security Investigations (HSI), Miami Field Office made the announcement.

HSI Fort Pierce investigated the case, with assistance from Martin County Sheriff’s Office.  Assistant U.S. Attorney Stacey Bergstrom is prosecuting the case.

This case was brought as part of Project Safe Childhood, a nationwide initiative to combat the growing epidemic of child sexual exploitation and abuse, launched in May 2006 by the Department of Justice.  Led by the U.S. Attorney’s Offices and the Criminal Divisions Child Exploitation and Obscenity Section (CEOS), Project Safe Childhood marshals federal, state, and local resources to better locate, apprehend, and prosecute individuals who exploit children via the Internet, as well as to identify and rescue victims.