HONOLULU (KHON2) — The U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of Hawaii said 39-year-old Neal Both-Magnisi, of Honolulu was sentenced to 11 years in prison on Tuesday, Sept. 21, for attempting to entice a 13-year-old boy to engage in unlawful sexual activity and for possessing child pornography.
Senior District Judge Susan Mollway ordered a 5-year supervised release period after Both-Magnisi’s prison sentence and said he will also pay $6,000 in restitution to two identified victims.
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Acting U.S. Attorney Judith Philips said Both-Magnisi was a registered sex offender and created a profile through a mobile dating app, according to court documents and information presented in court.
Both-Magnisi used the app on March 19, 2019, to contact a user with a profile picture of a 13-year-old boy “which stated that he was ‘Younger than you think,'” according to Philips. Both-Magnisi then communicated with the boy numerous times through text message and online chat between March 19 and March 24, 2019.
According to Phillips, the boy who Both-Magnisi thought he was in contact with “was actually an undercover law enforcement agent.”
Both-Magnisi arranged to meet the boy on March 24, 2019, at a Kapolei shopping center “to engage in sexual activity.” Authorities said he went to the agreed-upon location and was arrested. A search of Both-Magnisi’s home led to the discovery of a laptop computer, Phillips said, where 93 video files and 224 images of child pornography were found — some appeared to show children as young as 8 years old.
“This prosecution is the successful result of a coordinated effort by several federal and state agencies to fight the threat of child predators using mobile device applications and social media to prey upon children in Hawaii. We are making concerted efforts to protect children, among the most vulnerable members of our community, from predators employing various forms of electronic media.”Acting U.S. Attorney Judith Philips
Officials said Both-Magnisi will also pay a $10,000 special assessment pursuant to the Justice for Victims of Trafficking Act of 2015.
The case was brought as part of Project Safe Childhood, a Department of Justice initiative launched in May 2006 to combat child sexual exploitation and abuse. It was investigated by Homeland Security Investigations and the Hawaii Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force before being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Gregg Paris Yates.