Ten-year prison sentence for British Columbia woman in child sex case

A British Columbia woman who arranged to meet with an undercover agent she thought was a divorced father in Virginia so she could have sex with his children was sentenced to 10 years in federal prison Friday, authorities said.

Theresa Goddard, 45, had pleaded guilty to a federal coercion and enticement charge in October, admitting that she thought she was arranging to have illegal sexual activities with two young children, ages 9 and 10, when she corresponded with a man she believed was their father in June. The father was actually an undercover federal agent, and Goddard was taken into custody after she flew into Dulles International Airport to meet him, authorities have said.

Prosecutors in the Eastern District of Virginia routinely handle child porn and sex cases — and those cases routinely stem from undercover investigations — but they typically do not involve women as the alleged perpetrators. The 10-year sentence imposed by U.S. District Judge Leonie M. Brinkema was the mandatory minimum that Goddard faced.

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Matt Zapotosky covers the federal district courthouse in Alexandria, where he tries to break news from a windowless office in which he is not allowed to bring his cell phone.

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