Man Who Took 13-Year-Old to Vegas to Have Sex With Him Gets to Spend 84 Months in Prison for His Illicit Efforts
Ivan Lopez, 23, met Miranda Hemphill online, and fell hard for her. He kept in contact with her using MySpace and other social networking tools, and wanted to make her his girlfriend--ideally his wife. The problem: At the time, Hemphill was just 13 years old.
After an extended online "seduction," Lopez managed to get Hemphill to go to Las Vegas with him in October 2010, where he was intending to consummate their relationship.
Now Lopez has been sentenced to 84 months in federal prison for traveling with the intent to engage in illicit sexual conduct, to which he pleaded guilty in June. Lopez will also have to register as a sex offender for the rest of his life.
The Department of Justice shares details about the case and Lopez's criminal history (emphasis ours):
In sentencing papers filed with the court, prosecutors stated that Lopez used his experience in sexual matters, his influence as a grown man and his resources to unduly influence an impressionable 8th grader. The papers argued that Lopez seemed to "wear down the victim's defenses," by asking her several times to send nude photos of herself, which she did after initially declining his sexual advances. Lopez told the victim he was suicidal prior to meeting her and that he considered her to be his wife, going as far as purchasing a ring for the victim.
Bonus: Hemphill wasn't Lopez's first day at the races. "The sentencing papers also state that Lopez faces an outstanding unrelated charge in San Bernardino County for engaging in sexual activity with a 14-year-old girl."
After taking Hemphill to Vegas, the teen's father begged via YouTube for Lopez to bring his daughter home. Lopez was ultimately arrested by FBI agents after U.S. Marshals located his van outside a motel in Vegas.
During Lopez's sentencing hearing, which took place Monday, Hemphill's mother and sister shared with the court the painful impact the episode has had on their family and on Hemphill.