U.S. Attorney's Office
Northern District of Illinois
(312) 353-5300
September 11, 2014

Former Chicago Man Sentenced to 40 Years in Federal Prison for Sexually Abusing Two Girls and Producing Child Pornography

CHICAGO―A Mexican national who fled to Mexico, was arrested there, and agreed to extradition, was sentenced today to the maximum of 40 years in federal prison for sexually molesting two minor girls and producing child pornography. The defendant, EDGAR HERNANDEZ, 36, pleaded guilty earlier this year to one count each of manufacturing child pornography and possessing child pornography.

At a sentencing hearing today, one victim, who was 15 at the time, and a relative of the other victim, who was seven at the time, told U.S. District Judge Samuel Der-Yeghiayan about the traumatic damage that Hernandez inflicted upon the victims’ lives. “The defendant scarred the victims for life,” Assistant U.S. Attorney John Kness argued in seeking a high sentence after the victim’s statements were presented.

Judge Der-Yeghiayan imposed the maximum sentence of 30 years in prison on the manufacturing count, to be served consecutively with the 10-year maximum term on the possession count. Hernandez is subject to deportation upon release from custody, but he was also ordered to remain under court supervision for 10 years, and he must serve at least 85 percent of his sentence. There is no parole in the federal prison system.

According to court records, Hernandez resided in a Chicago apartment and the seven-year-old victim was entrusted to his care and had a series of occasional overnight visits between September and December 2009. Hernandez engaged in sexual conduct with the victim on approximately a dozen occasions, and he used the digital video camera on his cellular telephone to make two video recordings of the sexual abuse in November 2009. The victim’s relative discovered the videos in December and contacted the Chicago Police Department, which began an investigation that was soon joined by the FBI. During the investigation, law enforcement discovered Hernandez’s sexual abuse of the 15-year-old victim, including additional video recordings.

Upon learning that the younger victim’s relative had reported his crimes to law enforcement, Hernandez fled to Mexico on Dec. 24, 2009, taking the older victim with him. That victim was reunited with her family in early 2010, but Hernandez remained a fugitive after he was charged. He was arrested in Mexico in April 2013 and was returned to Chicago last October after agreeing to summary extradition.

The sentence was announced by Zachary T. Fardon, United States Attorney for the Northern District of Illinois; Robert J. Holley, Special Agent-in-Charge of the Chicago Office of the Federal Bureau of Investigation; and Garry McCarthy, Superintendent of the Chicago Police Department.

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