Ennis, Texas, Man Sentenced to 64 Months in Federal Prison on Child Pornography Conviction
Defendant Posed as Young Woman on a Social-Media Website to Convince Young Males to Send Sexually Explicit Photos of Themselves to Him
DALLAS — Jerry Wayne Valek, 35, was sentenced yesterday afternoon by U.S. District Judge Jorge A. Solis to 64 months in federal prison, following his guilty plea in January 2012 to one count of receipt of child pornography, announced U.S. Attorney Sarah R. Saldaña of the Northern District of Texas. Valek has been in custody since his arrest on a related charge on January 13, 2011.
According to documents filed in the case, Valek created a false account on a social-media website holding himself out to be “Jessica Villerra,” an attractive female living in Dallas. Through the website, Valek befriended minor boys and began communicating with them via e-mail. Posing as the interested woman, Valek would exchange cell phone numbers with a minor via e-mail, and initiate “sexting” conversations, encouraging the minor to trade pornographic pictures of themselves and send them to Valek.
One minor that Valek communicated with was a 16-year-old male, “Minor A.” When interviewed by law enforcement, “Minor A” stated that soon after becoming friends with “Villera” on the site, “Villerra” requested that he produce and send nude images of himself to her. “Minor A” stated that although he never actually spoke to “Villerra,” he did exchange text and e-mail messages with her and did as requested, taking photographs of himself posing nude and sending them to “Villerra.”
During a search of Valek’s residence in Ennis, Texas, law enforcement found a cellular phone using a number that several witnesses stated belonged to “Villerra.” That phone also contained nude images of “Villerra”, and both adult and minor males. A computer was also seized at the residence and through forensic examination was determined to be used as part of the offense.
This matter 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, Project Safe Childhood marshals federal, state and local resources to better locate, apprehend and prosecute individuals who sexually exploit children, and to identify and rescue victims. For more information about Project Safe Childhood, please visit http://www.justice.gov/psc For more information about internet safety education, please visit http://www.justice.gov/psc and click on the tab "resources."
The case was investigated by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) and the Decatur, Texas, Police Department.
Assistant U.S. Attorney Jason D. Schall was in charge of the prosecution.
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