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Oahu jury convicts man, 35, of soliciting sex from minor

An Oahu jury found a 35-year-old man guilty Thursday of commercial sexual exploitation of a minor after he was caught online in January 2023 offering $200 to an undercover law enforcement officer in exchange for sex.

Jefferson Manuales Ibalio, 35, was indicted on Jan. 23, 2023, after he was caught in Operation Keiki Shield, according to a news release from the state Department of the Attorney General.

The ongoing operation is run by the Hawaii Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force in the AG’s office.

Ibalio was arrested as part of a Jan. 20, 2023, operation for soliciting sex from an undercover law enforcement officer posing online as a 16-year-old girl.

Commercial sexual exploitation of a minor is a Class B felony punishable by up to 10 years in prison. Ibalio will also be required to register as a sex offender.

“Those who prey on children are among the greatest public-safety threats we face in Hawaii,” said Attorney General Anne E. Lopez, in a statement. “The ICAC Task Force and my Department’s Special Investigation and Prosecution Division have ensured that Mr. Ibalio will be held responsible for his conduct.”

Ibalio is scheduled to be sentenced by Oahu Circuit Court Judge Shanlyn Park on Aug. 27. He remains free on $20,000 bail.

Deputy Attorney General Cheuk Fu Lui of the Special Investigation and Prosecution Division was the lead prosecutor on the case. The jury deliberated for about 90 minutes before returning a guilty verdict at about 2:19 p.m., according to state court records.

“We will continue to protect our keiki against the predatory actions of child predators. No endeavor could be greater or more important,” said ICAC Supervisory Special Agent Edward Arias of the Department of the Attorney General.

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