July 2, 2014

Las Vegas Montessori School Employee Charged with Federal Child Pornography Crimes

LAS VEGAS, NV—A man who is employed at the Spring Valley Montessori School in Las Vegas appeared in federal court this afternoon on charges that he received and possessed child pornography, announced Daniel G. Bogden, United States Attorney for the District of Nevada.

John-Benedict Galang Alcantara, 24, is charged in a criminal complaint with one count of receipt of child pornography and one count of possession of child pornography. Alcantara self-surrendered to federal authorities this morning, and had an initial appearance hearing at 3:00 p.m. before U.S. Magistrate Judge Cam Ferenbach, and was released on bond with special conditions. If convicted, Alcantara faces a minimum of five years and a maximum of 20 years in prison on the receipt charge and a maximum of 10 years in prison on the possession charge, as well as fines of up to $250,000 on each count.

According to the criminal complaint, in April 2014, a Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department detective assigned to the FBI’s Child Exploitation Task Force determined that child pornography images and videos were being shared online through an Internet address traced to Alcantara’s residence in Las Vegas. One of the videos depicted a prepubescent female child having sex with an adult male. On June 29, 2014, a state court search warrant was executed at the residence and law enforcement authorities found cartoon images of child erotica hanging on the walls in the bedroom occupied by Alcantara. Law enforcement authorities seized several computers and related devices from the home containing numerous images of child pornography. Another search warrant was executed at the Montessori School where the defendant works in the area of computer support, and law enforcement authorities seized four more computers which were allegedly under Alcantara’s control. Authorities determined that efforts had been made to erase the hard drives of these computers; however, remnants of child pornography files were found on a least one of them.

The case is being investigated by the FBI and Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department, and is being prosecuted by Special Assistant United States Attorney Allison Herr.

The case was brought as part of Project Safe Childhood, a nationwide initiative launched in May 2006 by the Department of Justice to combat the growing epidemic of child sexual exploitation and abuse. Led by the United States Attorneys’ Offices and the Criminal Division’s Child Exploitation and Obscenity Section, Project Safe Childhood marshals, federal, state, and local resources to locate, apprehend, and prosecute individuals who sexually exploit children, and to identify and rescue victims. For more information about Project Safe Childhood, please visit www.usdoj.gov/psc. For more information about Internet safety education, please visit www.usdoj.gov/psc and click on the tab “resources.”

The public is reminded that a criminal complaint contains only charges and is not evidence of guilt. The defendant is presumed innocent and entitled to a fair trial at which the government has the burden of proving guilt beyond a reasonable doubt.