Judges Gavel

A Northern Virginia man pleaded guilty Thursday to coercing and enticing someone under age 18 for prostitution or any sexual activity.

Louie Fernando Leitao, 64, faces up to life in prison when sentenced March 26 by U.S. District Judge Robert E. Payne. However, the U.S. attorney’s office and Leitao’s lawyer, William J. Dinkin, have agreed to recommend the judge impose a term of 10 years, the minimum allowed under the law.

Leitao was arrested in Henrico County on Oct. 24, the result of an undercover investigation run by the FBI Richmond Division’s Child Exploitation Task Force.

The task force targeted adults willing to travel to have sex with a minor. Court records show that investigators posted fictitious profiles on a number of dating and other websites.

An affidavit filed in the case alleges that Leitao believed he was communicating with the middle-aged aunt of two nieces, 10 and 6 years old, who lived in central Virginia. He allegedly sent pornographic images of juveniles to the investigator posing as the aunt.

At an earlier hearing, Dinkin said Leitao is married and has two children, is retired from the Air Force with the rank of major and is in sales in Northern Virginia. He pleaded guilty Thursday before U.S. Magistrate Judge Roderick C. Young.

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