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Case Number: 1:21-cr-00047-SOM
Judge: Susan Oki Mollway
Court: United States District Court for the District of Hawaii (Honolulu County)
Plaintiff's Attorney: United States Attorney’s Office
Description: Honolulu, HI: Criminal defense lawyer represented defendant charged with attempting to entice a minor and possession of child pornography.
Neal Both-Magnisi, 39, of Honolulu, Hawaii, charge for attempting to entice a 13 year-old minor to engage in unlawful sexual activity, and for possessing child pornography.
Acting U.S. Attorney Judith A. Philips stated that, according to court documents and information presented in court, Both-Magnisi, a registered sex offender, created a profile on a mobile device application designed for dating. On March 19, 2019, Both-Magnisi used the application to communicate with a user whose profile featured a photograph of a 13 year-old boy, which stated that he was “Younger than you think.” Between March 19 and March 24, 2019, Both-Magnisi engaged in numerous text message and online chat communications with the other user, who represented to Both-Magnisi that he was 13 years old, but who was actually an undercover law enforcement agent. On March 24, 2019, Both-Magnisi arranged to meet the boy in person at a shopping center in Kapolei, Hawaii to engage in sexual activity. Both-Magnisi then traveled to the agreed-upon location and was arrested.
Information provided to the court also reflected that law enforcement agents conducted a search of Both-Magnisi’s home. There, the agents discovered and seized a laptop computer, on which they discovered 93 video files and 224 images of child pornography, some of which appeared to feature children as young as eight years old.
“This prosecution is the successful result of a coordinated effort by several federal and state agencies to fight the threat of child predators using mobile device applications and social media to prey upon children in Hawaii,” stated Acting U.S. Attorney Philips. “We are making concerted efforts to protect children, among the most vulnerable members of our community, from predators employing various forms of electronic media.”
“Protecting our keiki is one of our top priorities at Homeland Security Investigations in Honolulu,” said Special Agent in Charge John F. Tobon. “I hope this sentence sends a very clear message to everyone in the community that we will track down predators to keep our children safe.”
This case was 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 U.S. Attorney’s Offices and the Criminal Division’s Child Exploitation and Obscenity Section (CEOS), 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 to identify and rescue victims. For more information about Project Safe Childhood, please visit www.justice.gov/psc.
The case was investigated by Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) and the Hawaii Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force (ICAC) and prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Gregg Paris Yates.
Coercion and Enticement: 18 U.S.C. § 2422(b)
Possession of Child Pornography: 18 U.S.C. § 2252A(a)(5)(B)
Outcome: Sentence: Imprisonment: 120 MONTHS as to Count 1, and 12 MONTHS as to Count 2, to run consecutively, for a total sentence of 132 MONTHS; Supervised Release: 5 YEARS as to each of Counts 1 and 2, to run concurrently; No fine; Restitution: 6,000.00 Special Assessment: $200.00 ($100.00 per count); JVTA Assessment: 10,000.00