MUSKEGON COUNTY, MI – A man on parole for sexual assault was sentenced to 24 years in federal prison after he contacted a 13-year-old girl online seeking nude photos.
John Edward Suarez, 55, of Muskegon, was sentenced Tuesday, Oct. 3, by U.S. District Judge Paul Maloney in Kalamazoo.
He had contacted the girl online then started to text her and leave voicemails with “sexually explicit and threatening content,” Assistant U.S. Attorney Erin Lane wrote in a sentencing memorandum.
After the girl contacted police, an undercover FBI worker used the girl’s phone to continue communication with Suarez. He told the undercover worker to create a pornographic photo and text it to him, Lane wrote.
Investigators eventually searched Suarez’s cellphone and found that he had been in contact with nine other girls, ages 9 to 15.
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“The contents of these chats were sexually explicit and threatening in nature and included repeated requests from the defendant to the child victims to send him pornographic photos,” Lane wrote.
The prosecutor called the defendant’s actions “egregious” and warranted a lengthy prison sentence.
Suarez was on parole after he pleaded guilty in 2016 to first-degree criminal-sexual conduct of a child under 13 in Muskegon County.
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He had a 1993 conviction in Allegan County Circuit Court for attempted second-degree criminal-sexual assault involving a child and a 1999 conviction for sexual battery in Ohio, according to Michigan’s Sex Offender Registry.
Lane said Suarez has shown “that he is unwilling and unable to stop committing sexual crimes against children.”
Sean Tilton, an assistant federal public defender, said Suarez regrets his actions and is remorseful.
His client admitted what he did and pleaded guilty to attempted enticement of a minor.
He said his client had a difficult life growing up, moving frequently, and started working at 12.
“He does not want to spend the rest of his life in prison. He wants to utilize services and resources in the (Bureau of Prisons), including sex offender and mental health treatment,” his attorney wrote a sentencing memo.
The judge ordered Suarez to spend 10 years on supervised release once his prison term ends.
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