Two Men Plead Guilty in Separate Child Exploitation Cases
FRESNO, CA—Two men pleaded guilty to offenses involving material related to the sexual exploitation of minors in separate cases in federal court today, United States Attorney Benjamin B. Wagner announced.
Aaron Lewis Gaudinier, 50, of Madera, pleaded guilty before United States District Judge Lawrence J. O’Neill to one count of receipt and distribution of child pornography. According to a plea agreement, on dates between December 14, 2011 and February 4, 2012, Gaudinier knowingly received and distributed more than 600 images of minors engaged in sexually explicit conduct. Some of the images were of prepubescent minors and some images depicted violence. Gaudinier has been detained as a danger to the community and flight risk since his initial appearance on February 15, 2012.
Gaudinier will be sentenced on July 21, 2014, at which time he faces potential punishments of 20 years’ imprisonment, a lifetime term of supervised release, a $250,000 fine, and a mandatory $100 penalty assessment. The actual sentence imposed, however, will be determined at the discretion of the court after consideration of any applicable statutory factors and the Federal Sentencing Guidelines. This case is the result of an investigation by the Central California Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force, specifically the Madera and Fresno County Sheriff’s Offices, the Tulare Police Department, and the Fresno office of U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement.
Lorenzo Hernandez Martinez, 37, of Bishop, pleaded guilty before United States District Judge Lawrence J. O’Neill to one count of attempted transfer of obscene material to a minor. According to court documents, Martinez communicated through Facebook chats from mid-October 2013 through February 2014 with someone whom he believed to be a 14-year-old female in Oregon. Martinez quickly turned the communications in a sexual direction, and he repeatedly transmitted explicit images. In fact, Martinez was communicating with an undercover detective in Corvallis, Oregon. The Corvallis Police Department worked with the Bishop Police Department and the Bakersfield FBI Resident Agency to identify the defendant. When a search warrant was executed at his residence in Bishop on March 11, 2014, agents seized a cell phone that contained communications with the undercover detective in Oregon as well as sexually explicit images that Martinez said he had transmitted to minors, including a minor female in China. Because he has resided in the United States without legal authorization for the past 18 years, Martinez also agreed not to challenge his removal from the United States.
Martinez is scheduled to be sentenced on July 21, 2014. He faces a maximum prison term of 10 years, a potential fine of $250,000, and a three-year term of supervised release. The actual sentence, however, will be determined at the discretion of the court after consideration of any applicable statutory factors and the Federal Sentencing Guidelines.
Assistant United States Attorney David Gappa is prosecuting these two cases. They have been 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 those who sexually exploit children and to identify and rescue victims. For more information about Project Safe Childhood, please visit www.justice.gov/psc. Click on the “Resources” tab for information about Internet safety education.