By Hayley Kappes
Killeen Daily Herald
A Killeen man has been sentenced to 20 years in prison for attempting to solicit sex from a minor through the Internet.
On Wednesday, Judge Trent Farrell of the 52nd District Court in Gatesville sentenced Xavier Rajesh Noronha, 38, after he pleaded guilty to five second-degree felonies in March, including two counts of online solicitation of a minor, two counts of attempted sexual performance of a child and attempted aggravated sexual assault.
The attorney general's Cyber Crimes Unit arrested Noronha on Nov. 8, 2007, for soliciting a 13-year-old girl online, after he drove from Fort Hood to an apartment in Copperas Cove, with the intent of having sex with the girl.
An undercover Cyber Crimes Unit investigator was posing as the underage girl, whom Noronha previously had chatted with twice online, according to a news release.
Dirk Fillpot, deputy communications director for the attorney general's office, said Attorney General Greg Abbott formed the Cyber Crimes Unit in 2003. It has arrested 110 people who have solicited investigators posing as children.
The attorney general's office handled Noronha's prosecution instead of the Coryell County district attorney's office.
"They came in, with our permission, since they were the ones who worked on the case from the beginning," said District Attorney David Castillo. "It's not common, but it has happened before."
Noronha also must pay a $5,000 fine and register as a sex offender for 10 years after completing his prison term.
Contact Hayley Kappes at firstname.lastname@example.org or (254) 501-7559.