RIVERSIDE, California – A San Bernardino County man faces federal sex trafficking charges after he allegedly posted an advertisement on Craigslist that offered “sexual tutoring” to females of any age and later agreed to provide “training” to a 12-year-old girl.
Jacob Aaron Schaffran, a 20-year-old resident of Highland, was named in a two-count indictment returned yesterday by a federal grand jury. The indictment charges Schaffran with attempted sex trafficking of a child and use of the internet to attempt to induce a minor to engage in criminal sexual activity.
Schaffran was arrested in this case on December 5 after he arrived at a Riverside fast food restaurant to meet the mother of the purported 12-year-old. The “mother” was an undercover law enforcement officer who had engaged in a series of email, text and phone communications with Schaffran. According to court documents, Schaffran repeatedly said that he wanted to meet with the girl and explained in detail how he wanted to engage in sexual activity with the 12-year-old girl.
The investigation in this case started in mid-November when the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children sent a tip to the Riverside County District Attorney's Office about a posting on Craigslist that sought females of any age he could “teach about sex.”
The investigation quickly uncovered the online ad with the heading “Sex Lesson, Sexual Tutoring, Sex Training, Sexual Education, Sex ed,” and specifically stated, “Age is not an issue however young or old I just like to know because each age and experience group should be handled a little bit differently.”
In late November, a law enforcement official responded to the ad and started a series of communications with a person later identified as Schaffran. The law enforcement officer assumed the persona of the mother of a fictional 12-year-old girl named “Robin.”
In the communications, Schaffran allegedly agreed to have sex with the girl in exchange for $100, explaining to the undercover officer that he previously had taught two other girls and that the 12-year-old girl's lack of prior sexual experience did not pose a problem.
On December 5, Schaffran made final plans to meet with the undercover officer and agreed to bring condoms and a rose for the child. After meeting with the purported mother, reiterating his intention to have sex with the 12-year-old and receiving payment of $105, authorities took Schaffran into custody.
Schaffran was initially charged in a criminal complaint filed in federal court. During his first court appearance on December 6, he was ordered released on a $115,000 bond.
Schaffran is scheduled to be arraigned on the indictment on January 3.
An indictment contains allegations that a defendant has committed a crime. Every defendant is presumed to be innocent until and unless proven guilty in court.
If he were to be convicted, Schaffran would face a potential sentence of life in federal prison. The charge of attempted sex trafficking of a child carries a mandatory minimum sentence of 15 years in prison. The charge of attempted enticement of a minor carries a mandatory minimum sentence of 10 years in federal prison.
The investigation in this case is being conducted by the FBI and the Riverside County District Attorney's Office, Internet Crimes Against Children/Sexual Assault Felony Enforcement Team.
This case is being prosecuted by Special Assistant United States Attorney Teresa K.B. Beecham of the Riverside Branch Office.
Component(s): USAO – California, Central
Contact: Thom Mrozek Spokesperson/Public Affairs Officer United States Attorney's Office Central District of California (Los Angeles) 213-894-6947
Press Release Number: 17-221 Updated December 14, 2017
Central District of California DOJ / 17-221 / December 14, 2017