Hillsborough County Sheriff Jail Deputy

Florida Man Sentenced To 10 Years In Federal Prison, Enticing 14-Year-Old To Engage in Sex

U.S. District Judge Brian J. Davis has sentenced Justin Latronica (31, Orange Park) to 10 years in federal prison for attempting to entice a child under the age of 16 to engage in sexual activity. Latronica was also ordered to serve a 10-year term of supervised release and register as a sex offender following his release from prison. Latronica was arrested on January 25, 2020, and was ordered detained throughout the proceedings in this case.

Latronica had pleaded guilty on December 17, 2020.

According to court documents, in the early morning hours of January 25, 2020, Latronica began chatting online with an undercover law enforcement officer who had assumed the persona of a 14-year-old boy. After learning the age of the “child,” Latronica invited the boy to “car play,” and to “kiss and see where it goes.”

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Latronica offered to come pick up the “child” and to engage in oral sex with the “child.” Latronica suggested the child wear “basket ball [sic] shorts or loose sweat pants.” Latronica traveled to what he believed was the home of the 14-year-old boy just before 2:00 a.m. for the planned sexual encounter. 

“This child predator thought he was going to prey on our communities most vulnerable—instead he came face-to-face with law enforcement,” said HSI Jacksonville Assistant Special Agent in Charge K. Jim Phillips. “Thanks to the dedicated investigators with HSI, the Clay County Sherriff’s Office, the St. Johns County Sheriff’s Office, and Naval Criminal Investigative Service this predator will learn his lesson behind bars.” 

This case was investigated by the Clay County Sheriff’s Office, the Naval Criminal Investigative Service, Homeland Security Investigations, and the St. Johns County Sheriff’s Office. It was prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Kelly S. Karase.

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This is another case 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.

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