Local Man Gets 20 Years for Producing Child Pornography
|U.S. Attorney’s Office October 30, 2013|
CORPUS CHRISTI, TX—Charlie Hernandez, 36, of Corpus Christi, has been ordered to serve 240 months in federal prison following his conviction of sexual exploitation of a child, announced United States Attorney Kenneth Magidson. Hernandez pleaded guilty August 1, 2013.
Today, U.S. District Judge Nelva Gonzalez Ramos handed Hernandez the 20-year-term, to be immediately followed by 10 years of supervised release. The court heard from the victim’s mother, who described the destruction that the defendant’s crimes have wrought upon her family. The mother explained how her child wanted to be at the hearing to speak to the court but was too emotionally distraught to appear. She spoke of the negative effects on the emotional and financial well-being of herself, her victimized child, and other members of her family. The mother explained that in addition to the psychological damage Hernandez has caused, she had also suffered a heart attack since learning of the crime, despite being in good health and only 34 years of age. The victim’s mother urged the court to hold Hernandez accountable for his crime and all the pain it has caused. In determining an appropriate sentence, the court considered the lasting harm done to the victim as well as the need to protect the public from Hernandez in the future.
On May 10, 2013, an officer with the Corpus Christi Police Department (CCPD) responded to a sexual assault call, at which time he spoke to the victim, a juvenile female relative of Hernandez. She stated that he had been sexually abusing her for four years, which had progressed from peeping to rape.
Hernandez was arrested and admitted to the abuse as well as to creating sexually explicit photographs of his victim with a cell phone. The cell phone was recovered during a search of his office, which led to the discovery of some of the sexually explicit images.
Hernandez has been in custody since his arrest on June 24, 2013, where he will remain pending transfer to a U.S. Bureau of Prisons facility to be determined in the near future.
This case, investigated by CCPD-Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force and the FBI and prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Lance Duke, 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."