Former Lansing Man Sentenced to Nearly 20 Years in Prison for Attempting to Persuade a Minor to Engage in Sexual Conduct
CHICAGO—A former south suburban Lansing man was sentenced to nearly 20 years in federal prison for attempting to persuade an individual he believed was a 14-year-old girl to engage in illegal sexual conduct. The defendant, MARTIN N. PAZDZUIRA, 47, formerly of Lansing, who has been in custody since he was arrested on federal charges in 2012, pleaded guilty in April of this year to one count of using the Internet to attempt to persuade an individual he believed was a minor to engage in illegal sexual conduct.
“Thank goodness it was law enforcement posing as ‘Emily,’ and not Emily,” U.S. District Judge Amy J. St. Eve said in imposing a sentence of 235 months, or 19 years, 7 months, yesterday in U.S. District Court. The judge also ordered Pazdzuira placed on court supervision for life following his release from prison.
Using the Internet to entice a minor to engage in illegal sexual conduct carries a mandatory minimum sentence of 10 years in prison and a maximum of life.
In pleading guilty, Pazdzuira admitted that he frequently used the Internet to chat with underage girls. In August 2012, he began chatting with “Emily,” who he believed was 14, and told “Emily” that he was 16 years’ old. In further chats, Pazdzuira made plans to meet “Emily” and take her to a hotel in Indiana to engage in illicit sexual conduct. He was arrested when he showed up to meet “Emily,” who, unbeknownst to him, was an undercover law enforcement officer posing as a minor girl.
Pazdzuira has two prior convictions for child sexual exploitation offenses. In 1995, he was convicted of aggravated criminal sexual abuse involving an eight-year-old child, and in 2005, he was convicted of possession of child pornography.
The sentence was announced today by Zachary T. Fardon, United States Attorney for the Northern District of Illinois, and Robert J. Holley, Special Agent-in-Charge of the Chicago Office of the Federal Bureau of Investigation. The government was represented at sentencing by Assistant U.S. Attorney April Perry.
The investigation was conducted by the FBI’s Child Exploitation Task Force. The task force is part of a nationwide effort known as the Innocence Lost National Initiative targeting those involved in the commercial sexual exploitation of children in the United States. In Chicago, the CETF is comprised of FBI special agents and officers and investigators from the Chicago Police Department, the Cook County Sheriff’s Office, and the Cook County State’s Attorney’s Office.