VALLEJO (CBS SF) – A Vallejo man is facing federal charges after he allegedly flew to the Philippines intending to molest a teen, federal prosecutors said.
A federal jury indicted 79-year-old Balbino Sablad on charges of traveling with intent to engage in illicit sexual conduct and conspiracy, according to acting Eastern California U.S. Attorney Phillip Talbert’s office.
According to the criminal complaint, Sablad engaged in sexual chats with a 15-year-old girl over Facebook and sent her at least $1,800 before flying to the Philippines in 2019. Sabalad also allegedly discussed with a co-conspirator his plan to sexually abuse the girl.
The document also alleges that Sablad had sent explicit messages and received nude photos of a 13-year-old girl in the Philippines.
The FBI received a tip on Sablad last year from a confidential witness. Law enforcement served a federal search warrant at Sablad’s home in Vallejo on July 1. Sablad had received an order to leave the residence after his wife sought a divorce from him.
When he was interviewed by an agent, the document said Sablad had claimed that he was hacked but could not identify when he was hacked and conceded he did not notify Facebook or police.
According to the complaint, when the agent confronted Sablad about the child pornography, he reportedly said, “I remember one, one girl, sent her, on her own accord—not my accord—on her own accord, took a picture of her and sent it to me.” Sablad then laughed it off and said, “It was a long time ago.”
A search of the home also yielded Sablad’s passport with stamps confirming his travel to the Philippines and a printed itinerary for a one-way flight to Manila in mid-July, the document said.
According to jail records, he is being held at the Sacramento County Main Jail without bail. Prosecutors said if convicted, Sablad may face a maximum of 30 years in prison and a $250,000 fine.
It was not immediately known when Sablad would appear in court.
Prosecutors said the case was brought as part of a Department of Justice initiative called “Project Safe Childhood” aimed at combatting child sexual exploitation and abuse. Information about the project along with Internet safety tips for young people can be found at www.usdoj.gov/psc.