Earlier today, Craig Andrew Armstrong, 24, of Louisville, Kentucky, appeared before Chief United States Magistrate Judge Richard L. Puglisi on a criminal complaint charging him with traveling in interstate commerce for the purpose of engaging in illicit sexual conduct with a person under 18 years of age. If convicted of this offense, Armstrong faces up to 30 years’ imprisonment, a $250,000 fine, and up to a lifetime of supervised release.
United States Attorney Kenneth J. Gonzales said officers of the Albuquerque Police Department (APD) and the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) arrested Armstrong, who was in the company of a 12-year-old girl, in a local motel on September 27, 2010. According to the criminal complaint, APD officers went to the motel after the child's mother reported receiving an anonymous call alerting her that the child was in the motel. During a safe house interview, the child said that she met Armstrong in August 2010 through an Internet website and thereafter Armstrong communicated with her by cell phone and texting. The child said she received a text message from Armstrong on September 26, 2010 notifying her that Armstrong was in Albuquerque. She reported that Armstrong took her to the motel where he performed sexual acts on her. The criminal complaint alleges that Armstrong admitted to meeting the child through an Internet website and traveling from Louisville, Kentucky to Albuquerque to have a sexual relationship with the child. It also alleges that Armstrong admitted to performing various sex acts on the child multiple times over a day-and-a-half time frame.
The case was investigated by APD, the FBI and the Second Judicial District Attorney’s Office in Bernalillo County and is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Charlyn Rees and was brought as part of Project Safe Childhood. Project Safe Childhood is a nationwide initiative launched in May 2006 by the Department of Justice to combat the growing epidemic of child sexual exploitation and abuse. Led by U.S. Attorneys’ Offices and the Criminal Division’s Child Exploitation and Obscenity Section, Project Safe Childhood marshals federal, state, and local resources to better locate, apprehend, and prosecute individuals who exploit children via the Internet, as well as to identify and rescue victims. For more information about Project Safe Childhood, please visit www.projectsafechildhood.gov.
A criminal complaint is only an accusation. All criminal defendants are presumed innocent until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt.