San Antonio Self-Proclaimed Modeling Promoter Convicted on Child Pornography Charges Receives 898-Year Federal Prison Term
|U.S. Attorney’s Office July 26, 2013|
In San Antonio this afternoon, Chief U.S. District Judge Fred Biery sentenced 36-year-old Gemase Lee Simmons of San Antonio to 10,776 months, or 898 years, in federal prison after convicting him in February on 39 counts of various bank fraud and child pornography related offenses, announced United States Attorney Robert Pitman and Federal Bureau of Investigation Special Agent in Charge Armando Fernandez.
In addition, Judge Biery ordered that Simmons pay $52,788.12 in restitution and a special assessment of $3,900. Simmons has been in federal custody since his arrest in January 2012.
“This man abused and exploited his victims in unspeakable ways. This sentence will ensure that he will not pose a risk to the public again,” stated United States Attorney Robert Pitman.
On February 11, 2013, following a six-day bench trial, Judge Biery convicted Simmons of six counts of bank fraud, four counts of extortion, and 29 counts of sexual exploitation of a child, including the production, distribution, transportation, receipt, and possession of child pornography.
Testimony and evidence introduced during trial established that between May 2011 and January 2012, Simmons and others at his direction knowingly engaged in an approximate $70,000 check kiting scheme using local bank accounts. Simmons directed other individuals to withdraw cash from bank accounts he and others established using checks drawn on other bank accounts that Simmons knew either had insufficient funds or were closed.
Testimony also revealed that Simmons and others used those proceeds to implement and further a child exploitation scheme. Acting as himself and by assuming fake personas, Simmons recruited, enticed, and coerced over 100 minors and adults, male and female, to engage in sexually explicit conduct and recorded the activity under the pretenses of helping them establish a modeling career. Testimony also revealed that Simmons often transmitted the images and videos of sexually explicit conduct to his female victims as a means to control them. Simmons then threatened to release the sexually explicit material publicly if the victims did not comply with his requests for additional images and sexual activity.
The case was investigated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation. Assistant United States Attorneys Tracy Thompson and Bettina Richardson prosecuted this case on behalf of the government.