An American man who allegedly lured a Winnipeg girl through social media and sexually assaulted her is facing serious charges. They come following a joint investigation involving the Winnipeg Police Service Child Abuse Unit, Rhode Island State Police, and the U.S. Department of Homeland Security.
A 22-year-old man from Pawtucket, R.I., had been communicating online with a 13-year-old Winnipeg girl beginning in January, said Winnipeg police. The man used grooming techniques and ‘subtle intimidation’ directed against the victim.
In April, the man flew to Winnipeg from Rhode Island and stayed in the city for four days, over which time he made personal contact with the girl and sexually assaulted her on a number of occasions, said police.
The accused went back to the U.S. but continued to contact the victim online.
Herbert J. Rodas was arrested July 11 by Homeland Security and the Rhode Island State Police Internet Crimes Against Children (ICAC) Task Force and charged with transferring obscene materials to a minor, enticement of a minor to engage in illicit sexual activity, and traveling in interstate or foreign commerce with intent to engage in illicit sexual activity.
According to the U.S. Attorney’s Office for Rhode Island, each of the charges can carry a significant prison sentence – up to 10 years for the first two, and up to 30 years for the third charge, as well as large potential financial penalties.
Rodas was released to home confinement with electronic monitoring and ordered to have no contact with the victim.
Winnipeg police said no charges would be laid in Winnipeg, as the charges are already covered in the U.S.
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