Saturday, December 15, 2018

Canadian man sentenced for enticing Georgia and Mississippi girls to engage in sexually explicit conduct over the internet

ATLANTA - Yves Joseph Legault has been sentenced for coercing and enticing the production of child sexual exploitation images over the Internet.  The defendant preyed on children in both Mississippi and Georgia simultaneously.

“Legault’s determination to pursue lurid desires shows his lack of fear of the law and a willingness to harm children no matter how young they are,” said U.S. Attorney Byung J. “BJay” Pak.  “Predators use the Internet and social media sites to lure unsuspecting teens into their web of deceit.  Fortunately, our law enforcement partners adapt quickly to new methods these individuals use, and catch those who prowl the Internet to engage in sexual activity with minors.  Our office will continue to prosecute these cases, and we highly encourage parents to be actively involved in children’s social media activities and Internet use.”

“Predators like Legault are always lurking on line, and a threat to our children. Hopefully his sentencing will serve as a warning to all parents to monitor what their children are doing on the internet and on their cell phones,” said Chris Hacker, Special Agent in Charge of FBI Atlanta. “Be assured the FBI's Violent Crimes Against Children unit and its Metro Atlanta Child Exploitation Task Force (MATCH) will use every investigative resource and remain vigilant for predators who pose a threat to children.”

According to U.S. Attorney Pak, the charges and other information presented in court: Beginning in approximately July 2017, Legault met a 13-year-old Marietta, Georgia, girl on the website Omegle, a free online and anonymous text and video chat tool.  After moving their communications to Google Hangouts, the defendant asked the teen to perform sexual acts on live video-streaming for him.  He eventually arranged to travel from Canada to Atlanta, Georgia, in order to have sex with the girl.

On August 11, 2017, Legault was arrested after flying from Toronto, Canada into Atlanta’s Hartsfield Jackson Airport to have sex with the teen.  The 13-year-old girl’s mother had alerted agents with the FBI to the relationship after she intercepted a package he sent her daughter from Canada.  A federal grand jury charged Legault for this conduct on August 15, 2017.

During the pendency of the Atlanta case and upon further investigation, agents discovered that during this same time period, Legault was also engaged in coercive and enticing chat and message exchanges with an eight-year-old girl residing in Pascagoula, Mississippi.  Legault asked the girl to engage in sexually explicit behavior while the two were chatting over a live-streaming communication device.  He was subsequently charged in the Southern District of Mississippi with one count of coercing and enticing the production of child pornography.

Yves Joseph Legault, 54, of Ontario, Canada, has been sentenced to 16 years in prison to be followed by supervised release for life, a $200 special assessment, and he will be deported to Canada upon completion of his sentence.  Legault pleaded guilty to both federal cases in the Northern District of Georgia on September 18, 2018, was sentenced by U.S. District Judge Orinda D. Evans.

This case was investigated by divisions of the FBI in Georgia and Mississippi.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Skye Davis prosecuted the case.

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