A federal jury convicted an Ohio man Friday of traveling in interstate commerce to engage in illicit sexual activity with a minor. Makel Elboghdady, 36, of Columbus, Ohio, was charged by a single-count Indictment in May 2020.
Evidence at trial revealed that Elboghdady traveled on February 28, 2020 from Columbus, Ohio to Huntington to meet a woman in order to engage in sexual activity with her purported minor daughters.
Elboghdady believed the girls were 11 and 13 years old. When he arrived in Huntington and met with the person he believed to be the mother of the girls, Elboghdady was placed under arrest.
Elboghdady faces up to 30 years in prison when he is sentenced on August 16, 2021. He will also be required to register as a sex offender.
“Thanks to a proactive investigation in this case by the FBI Child Exploitation and Human Trafficking Task Force and our commitment to combatting child sexual exploitation, Elboghdady was charged and convicted of traveling in interstate commerce with the intent to engage in illicit sexual activity with a minor. This case should serve as a warning to offenders that the U.S. Attorney’s Office and our law enforcement partners will work together to hold you accountable and bring you to justice,” said Acting United States Attorney Lisa G. Johnston.
United States District Judge Robert C. Chambers presided over the trial. Assistant United States Attorneys Jennifer Rada Herrald and Julie White handled the prosecution.
This case was prosecuted as part of Project Safe Childhood, a nationwide initiative of the Department of Justice to combat the growing epidemic of child sexual exploitation and abuse. Led by the United States Attorney’s 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 those who sexually exploit children, and to identify and rescue victims. For more information about Project Safe Childhood, please visit www.justice.gov/psc.