Mark Valete was convicted of meeting a minor for a lewd purpose and contacting and communicating with a minor for a sexual purpose
San Francisco, CA – Today, San Francisco District Attorney Brooke Jenkins announced that her office secured a guilty conviction of Mark Valete, 33, in connection to arranging a hook-up with a minor on the social media application Grindr. Valete was found guilty of two felonies – meeting a minor for lewd purpose and contact or communication with a minor for a sexual purpose. Valete was arrested with condoms and lubricant at the intersection of Bay Street and Broderick Street where he believed he would meet a 14-year-old minor, while the minor’s mother was at work.
“There is no tolerance for those who attempt to use the internet to exploit children,” said District Attorney Brooke Jenkins. “This verdict sends a loud and clear message to those who would target children in this way that San Franciscans will hold them accountable and they will face consequences for their actions.”
The case against Valete was successfully prosecuted by Assistant District Attorney Brittney Delgado. The case was brought forward as a result of a successful San Francisco Police Department Internet Crimes Against Children undercover operation where the investigator posed as a 14 year-old boy on Grindr, a social media application.
“I want to thank the jury for holding the defendant accountable for his actions,” said Assistant District Attorney Brittney Delgado. “Their decision shows that the public is committed to keeping children and teenagers safe online in an era where the misuse of social media to target minors has become increasingly more prevalent.”
Valete was arrested on February 19, 2020 following three days of sexual chats with undercover officers posing as the minor. In his interview with police, Valete admitted that he was there to meet a minor for sex and also admitted that he had previously met up with and had sex with a minor in San Francisco that he met using Grindr.
Valete was released to home detention on March 10, 2020. He will be sentenced on December 15, 2022 and is facing up to four years in State Prison.
Court Number: 20002624