Home San Diego Press Releases 2009 Former Teacher Pleads Guilty to Travel with Intent to Engage in Illicit Sexual Conduct

Former Teacher Pleads Guilty to Travel with Intent to Engage in Illicit Sexual Conduct

U.S. Attorney’s Office December 01, 2009
  • Southern District of California (619) 557-5610

United States Attorney Karen P. Hewitt announced that Maurice Woods, a former teacher at Junipero Serra High School, pled guilty yesterday in federal court in San Diego to Count 5 of the indictment which charged him with Travel with Intent to Engage in Illicit Sexual Conduct, in violation of Title 18, United States Code, Section 2423(b). Woods entered his guilty plea before United States District Court Judge Barry Ted Moskowitz.

According to the court records, Woods admitted that in August 2003, he traveled from California to Florida with a 15-year-old minor and engaged in sexual contact. Woods further admitted that he had engaged in similar conduct outside the state of California with the same minor at least four separate times between September 2002 and July 2005. At the time of his arrest, Woods was a doctorate student at Arizona State University.

As noted in prior court hearings, there are pending state child molestation charges arising from conduct with the same victim that occurred in California.

Sentencing for Woods is scheduled for February 26, 2010 at 10:30 a.m., before Judge Moskowitz.

This case stems from a Federal Bureau of Investigation case with the assistance of the San Diego Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force, whose members include the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the Immigration and Customs Enforcement, the San Diego Police Department, the San Diego County Sheriff’s Department, the Chula Vista Police Department, the United States Attorney’s Office, the San Diego District Attorney’s Office, the United States Postal Inspection Service, the Naval Criminal Investigative Service, the United States Marshals Service, the Regional Computer Forensics Laboratory, the Defense Criminal Investigative Service, and the El Cajon Police Department.

This case is being brought as part of Project Safe Childhood, a nationwide initiative designed to combat the growing epidemic of child exploitation and abuse launched in May 2006 by the Department of Justice. Led by United States Attorneys’ Offices and the Criminal Division’s Child Exploitation and Obscenity Section (CEOS), Project Safe Childhood marshals federal, state and local resources to better locate, apprehend, and prosecute individuals who exploit children via the Internet, as well as identify and rescue victims. For more information about Project Safe Childhood, please visit www.projectsafechildhood.gov.

DEFENDANT Case Number: 09CR3480-BTM
MAURICE WOODS Age: 66
Tempe, Arizona  

SUMMARY OF CHARGES

Title 18, United States Code, Section 2423(b)(Travel with Intent to Engage in Illicit Sexual Conduct) Maximum Penalties: 30 years’ incarceration, $250,000 fine, and up to a lifetime of supervised release and registration as a sex offender.

AGENCY

Federal Bureau of Investigation