AP NEWS

Rhode Island man pleads guilty to having sex with minor

January 25, 2020 GMT

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (AP) — A Rhode Island man has pleaded guilty to traveling to Canada to have sex with a 13-year-old girl he met through social media, federal prosecutors say.

Herbert Rodas, 23, of Pawtucket, pleaded guilty in U.S. District Court in Providence to several charges Friday, including engaging in illicit sexual conduct with a minor in foreign places, which is punishable by up to 30 years in prison. Sentencing is scheduled for April 25.

Rodas began communicating with the girl in January 2019, according to information developed by Winnipeg police.

Last April, he flew to Canada, rented a hotel room in his name for which he paid cash, and over the next three days met with the victim on several occasions to engage in sexual activity, according to the office of U.S. Attorney Aaron Weisman.

Winnipeg police contacted Rhode Island State Police in June to report the allegations.

Rodas was arrested in Rhode Island in July.

Rodas also sent the girl obscene photographs of himself and successfully encouraged her to send him sexually explicit photographs of herself, prosecutors said.