Maryland Man Sentenced to 123 Months in Prison for Traveling Into the District of Columbia to Engage in Illicit Sexual Conduct With a Minor

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FILE PHOTO: Signage is seen at the United States Department of Justice headquarters in Washington, D.C.

            WASHINGTON – Jan Astaphan, 41, of Baltimore, Maryland, was sentenced today to 123 months in prison on a federal charge of traveling interstate to engage in illicit sexual conduct with a minor.

            The announcement was made by U.S. Attorney Matthew M. Graves, Special Agent in Charge Raymond Villanueva of the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) Washington, D.C., and Robert J. Contee III, Chief of the Metropolitan Police Department (MPD)

            Astaphan pleaded guilty in June 2021, in the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia, to a charge of travel with intent to engage in illicit sexual conduct.  He was sentenced by the Honorable Randolph D. Moss. Upon completion of his prison term, Astaphan will be placed on a term of 10 years of supervised release, and required to pay a special assessment fee. He also will be required to register as a sex offender for a minimum period of 15 years upon his release from prison.

            According to the government’s evidence, on January 29, 2019, Astaphan agreed to pay $300 to engage in sexual activity with an under-aged child at a hotel in Washington D.C.  HSI undercover agents identified Astaphan as a user of a website known to law enforcement as a site where members actively sexually exploit children. HSI agents identified Astaphan’s account in February 2018, and began communicating with him on multiple platforms, including by text message.  As their conversations continued, Astaphan arranged to travel from his home in Maryland, on January 29, 2019, to a hotel in the District of Columbia.  After handing $300 in cash to an individual he believed had access to the under-aged child, he was arrested by law enforcement.  He has been in custody ever since.


            This case was brought as part of the Department of Justice’s Project Safe Childhood initiative. In February 2006, the Attorney General created Project Safe Childhood, a nationwide initiative designed to protect children from online exploitation and abuse. Led by the U.S. Attorney’s Offices, Project Safe Childhood marshals federal, state, and local resources to better locate, apprehend, and prosecute individuals who exploit children via the Internet, as well as identify and rescue victims. For more information about Project Safe Childhood, please visit www.projectsafechildhood.gov.

            In announcing the sentence, U.S. Attorney Graves, Special Agent in Charge Villanueva, and Chief Contee commended the work of the MPD Detectives and U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations (HSI). They also commended the efforts of Assistant U.S. Attorney Amy E. Larson, who is prosecuting the case.