Man gets 20 years in prison for producing child porn
A 26-year-old Brownsville man who sexually assaulted a 4-year-old child on at least five occasions and who possessed hundred of images of child pornography will spend the next two decades in prison.
U.S. District Judge Andrew S. Hanen sentenced Manuel Teodoro Perez to the two-decade sentence Tuesday morning. Perez pleaded guilty to production of child pornography in February.
In all, authorities discovered 628 images of child pornography and 57 videos of child pornography, and investigators discovered that while he molested that 4-year-old child, the younger sister was present in the room, court testimony showed.
Authorities arrested Perez in late October and charged him with using a cellphone to record the sexual assault of a minor relative, according to a criminal complaint. The Rio Grande Valley Exploitation Task Force initiated an investigation into an email address in April 2017 that was associated with the distribution and downloading of child pornography, the U.S. Attorney’s Office, Southern District of Texas, said in a press release.
Assistant U.S. Attorney Jason Corley said during the hearing that law enforcement knocked on the man’s door before arresting and discussed his internet browsing. Corley said the man denied viewing child pornography and claimed he didn’t own a phone. However, during that interview, his phone rang, Corley told the court.
Investigators later discovered the molestation video, which he described as “disturbing.”
Corley asked Hanen to sentence Perez to a little more than 21 years in prison.
“Not only did the defendant sexually exploit a minor, he confessed to five sexual assaults,” Corley said, explaining to Hanen why the USAO asked for the decades-long sentence.
Before being sentenced, Perez admitted to his wrongdoing and offered his apologies. He said he was ready to accept the consequences of his actions.
“I have no excuses. I’m very sick, and I need help,” Perez said. “I’ve been through a lot in life, but I never thought it would end up like this. I’m just human and accept my punishment.”
Perez also asked for leniency, telling Hanen he wanted to make something of his life.
“I pray for you to give me a second chance at life,” Perez said.
Hanen said the nature of the circumstances of the offense justified the 20-year sentence.