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Child Exploitation
09/16/2009

Pennsylvania sex tourist sentenced to 97 months for victimizing orphans

Defendant admitted during court proceedings he thought he would not get caught in Russia.

PHILADELPHIA - Andrew Mogilyansky, 39, was sentenced Wednesday to 97 months in prison for traveling to Russia to engage in sex with young orphan girls, following an investigation by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement. The Richboro, Pa., man pleaded guilty last April to one count of traveling for the purpose of engaging in illicit sexual conduct and three counts of engaging in illicit sexual conduct in foreign places. The defendant is a dual citizen of Russia and the United States and a wealthy businessman.

The indictment alleged that Mogilyansky conspired with a Russian citizen, Andrei Tarasov, and at least three others, to create a prostitution business scheme in Russia from 2002 to 2004. The illicit business named "Berenika," allegedly advertised both women and girls for sex. Between December 2003 and January 2004, Mogilyansky traveled from Philadelphia to Russia for the purpose of engaging in sex with girls who were 13 and 14 years old.

In addition to the prison term, U.S. District Court Judge Mary McLaughlin ordered Mogilyansky to pay restitution in the amount of $15,000, a fine in the amount of $12,500, and to spend 15 years on supervised release.

"Wealthy Americans who think they can shortcut child sex laws by traveling overseas need to take note of this sentence," said Michael L. Levy, U. S. Attorney for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania. "Sex tourists, like this defendant, prey on disadvantaged children. In this case, the victims were distinctly vulnerable because they had been abandoned by their parents. Recognizing the devastating toll this defendant wrought on these girls, the court sentenced him to the maximum prison time allowed under the guidelines."

"ICE knows no boundaries when it comes to the protection of children. This case shows international borders are no longer an obstacle to ICE's ability to track, arrest and prosecute child predators who prey on unsuspecting children in impoverished communities," said Andrew M. McLees, acting special agent in charge of the ICE Office of Investigations in Philadelphia. "While these types of cases are extremely challenging to investigate and prosecute, we owe it to the young victims to take action. Today's sentence is the direct result of extraordinary cooperation between ICE and Russian law enforcement officials."

This case is the result of an international investigation led by agents from ICE, the Office of the ICE Attaché in Moscow, the St. Petersburg, Russia, Police Department, the Russian Ministry of Internal Affairs and the Investigative Committee of the General Prosecutor's Office of the Russian Federation. It was prosecuted by Assistant U. S. Attorney Michelle Morgan-Kelly.

This case is the result of the ICE's Operation. Operation Predator is an ongoing ICE initiative to protect children from sexual predators, including those who travel overseas for sex with minors, Internet child pornographers, criminal alien sex offenders and child sex traffickers. ICE encourages the public to report suspected child predators and any suspicious activity through its toll-free hotline at 1-866-347-2423. This hotline is staffed around the clock by investigators.

Suspected child sexual exploitation or missing children may be reported to the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children, an Operation Predator partner, at 1-800-843-5678 or http://www.cybertipline.com.