FEDERAL GRAND JURY INDICTS ENNIS, TEXAS, MAN ON CHILD PORNOGRAPHY CHARGES
Defendant Posed as Young Woman on Facebook to Convince Young Males to Send Sexually Explicit Photos of Themselves
DALLAS — A federal grand jury has indicted Jerry Wayne Valek, 35, of Ennis, Texas, on three counts of production of child pornography, announced U.S. Attorney James T. Jacks of the Northern District of Texas. Valek has been in federal custody since his arrest on a related charge on January 13, 2011.
According to the indictment, complaint and testimony from the detention hearing, from September 18, 2008, to December 14, 2010, Valek, using the name of “Jessica Villerra,” and representing himself on his Facebook profile to be a 25-year-old Dallas resident, enticed three young men, under the age of 18, to send sexually explicit images of themselves to him. The “Jessica Villera” Facebook account has more than 450 registered “friends,” a majority of which are male minors that Facebook indicates are current high school students.
An indictment is an accusation by a federal grand jury and a defendant is entitled to the presumption of innocence unless proven guilty. However, if convicted, Valek faces a maximum statutory sentence, for each count, of not less than fifteen or more than 30 years in prison, a lifetime of supervised release and a $250,000 fine.
This 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 U.S. Attorneys’ Offices and the Criminal Division's Child Exploitation and Obscenity Section (CEOS), Project Safe Childhood marshals federal, state and local resources to better locate, apprehend and prosecute individuals who exploit children via the Internet, as well as to identify and rescue victims. For more information about Project Safe Childhood, please visit http://www.projectsafechildhood.gov/.
The case is being investigated by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) and the Decatur, Texas, Police Department.
Anyone having information they wish to provide law enforcement concerning the charged crime should contact ICE at 866-347-2423.
Assistant U.S. Attorney Jason D. Schall is in charge of the prosecution.
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