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Child Exploitation

Pennsylvania man charged in sex tourism case involving Russian orphans

PHILADELPHIA - A Pennsylvania man was indicted today for child exploitation crimes after an investigation by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE).

ICE together with the United States Attorney's Office announced the indictment and arrest of Andrew Mogilyansky, 38, on four counts relating to traveling in foreign commerce and engaging in sexual activity with children. Mogilyansky is a dual citizen of Russia and the United States and is a resident of Richboro, Pa. He was arrested by ICE on Tuesday.

According to the November 20, 2008 indictment, Mogilyansky, a wealthy businessman, conspired with a Russian citizen, Andrei Tarasov, and three others to create a prostitution business scheme in Russia from 2002 to 2004 involving young orphan girls. The illicit business, named "Berenika," advertised both women and girls for sex.

The indictment further alleges that between December 2003 and January 2004, Mogilyansky traveled from Philadelphia to Russia to engage in sex with young girls. With help from Tarasov and others, Mogilyansky had three girls, 14 and younger, brought from a St. Petersberg, Russia orphanage to an apartment he owned nearby. There, he had sex, or attempted to have sex, with the girls. He would then place them in his child prostitution business.

"All of the victims in this case were young girls who were orphans. The defendant took what little they had - their innocence and their dignity," said Acting United States Attorney Laurie Magid. "As the indictment alleges, not only did he molest them for his own pleasure, but he treated these children as a commodity - useful, marketable, and ultimately disposable."

"Those individuals who commit these heinous crimes abroad and believe they will not be held accountable are sadly mistaken," said John P. Kelleghan, special agent in charge of the ICE Office of Investigations in Philadelphia. "As shown here today, ICE and our international law enforcement partners around the world stand vigilant to protect the most vulnerable among us, our children."

Mogilyansky is charged with 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. Tarasov and the other conspirators were arrested, tried, and convicted in Russia in 2004. Tarasov is currently serving a 10-year sentence.

If convicted of all charges, the defendant faces a maximum sentence of 30 years in prison on each count, a lifetime term of supervised release, and a $1,000,000 fine.

This indictment is the result of an international investigation led by agents from U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), the Office of the ICE Attache 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 is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Michelle Morgan-Kelly.