East Tennessee man gets 25 years in prison for sexually assaulting minors on cross-country trip

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KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WATE) — A Sweetwater man has been sentenced to 25 years in prison after being convicted of sexually assaulting minors during a cross-country trip in June 2018.

28-year-old Jason Leonard Valdivia was sentenced by the Department of Justice in the Eastern District of Tennessee at Knoxville. He’ll be serving 300 months in federal prison, and after his imprisonment, will be on probation for 15 years and will register as a sex offender.

The DOJ says that the investigation began in August of 2018 after a minor reported that Valdivia had sexually assaulted them during a trip from Tennessee to Nevada and back.

Valdivia admitted to assaulting two minors during the trip.

This case was brought as part of Project Safe Childhood (PSC), a nationwide initiative to combat the growing epidemic of child sexual exploitation and abuse launched in May 2006 by the Department of Justice. Led by U.S. Attorneys’ Offices and the Criminal Division’s Child Exploitation and Obscenity Section, PSC 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 PSC, please visit www.projectsafechildhood.gov.

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