Federal Jury Convicts U.S. Army Officer in Connection with Sex Trafficking of Minors Scheme
In San Antonio today, a federal jury convicted 41-year-old U.S. Army Lieutenant Colonel Raymond Valas of sex trafficking of a minor announced United States Attorney Robert Pitman, Special Agent in Charge Christopher Combs of the FBI’s San Antonio Division and Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott.
The jury found that Valas, a U.S. Army War College fellow at Syracuse University and a member of the New Hampshire National Guard, solicited a minor using the Internet for the purpose of engaging in commercial sex. Further, jurors found that Valas knowingly had sex with that minor female in a San Antonio hotel on two occasions in August 2013 while on temporary duty.
Valas faces between ten years and life in federal prison when he is sentenced on February 27, 2015. Following the reading of the verdict, on the motion of the Government, Chief U.S. District Judge Fred Biery remanded Valas into federal custody.
All three of Valas’ co-defendants have been convicted of sex trafficking of minors as a result of this investigation. San Antonio residents Marcus Deshawn Wright, age 38, Malcolm Deandre Copeland, age 22, and Amber Doak, age 20, await sentencing on February 27, 2015.
This case was investigated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) together with the San Antonio Police Department. Assistant United States Attorney Bettina Richardson and Special Assistant United States Attorney Geoff Barr from the Texas Attorney General’s Office are prosecuting this case on behalf of the Government.