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Leesburg Resident Sentenced to More than 12 ½ Years in Prison for Attempting to Entice a Minor Online to Engage in Illegal Sexual Activity

U.S. Attorney Ariana Fajardo Orshan for the Southern District of Florida and Chief John Bolduc of the Port St. Lucie Police Department announced that Jonathan Anthony Mahowald, 39, of Leesburg, Florida was sentenced to more than twelve and a half years in federal prison for attempting to entice a minor, online, to engage in illegal sexual activity.

Mahowald was sentenced by U.S. District Court Judge Kenneth A. Marra to a total of 152 months in prison, followed by 30 years supervised release for Attempted Use of a Means of Interstate Commerce to Persuade, Induce, Entice, or Coerce a Minor to Engage in Illegal Sexual Activity (Case No. 18-CR-14072-KAM). Upon his release from prison, Mahowald will also have to register as a sex offender.

According to the court record, on July 6, 2018, a Port St. Lucie Police Department Detective was investigating undercover computer crimes against children. Between July 6, 2018 and July 17, 2018, the detective, posing as a 14-year-old girl, responded to an internet advertisement Mahowald had posted. During the course of text and online communications Mahowald, discussed sexually explicit activity he wished to engage in with the “14-year old.”  In addition, Mahowald sent sexually explicit images to the person he believed was a minor. On the morning of July 17, 2019, Mahowald set up a meeting with the “14 year old” to meet at a restaurant in Port. St Lucie. Upon his arrival, Mahowald was arrested by members of the Port St. Lucie Police Department. 

U.S. Attorney Fajardo Orshan commended the investigative efforts of the Port St. Lucie Police Department. The case was prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Carmen Lineberger.

Related court documents and information may be found on the website of the District Court for the Southern District of Florida at www.flsd.uscourts.gov or at http://pacer.flsd.uscourts.gov.

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