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July 13, 2009

TEACHER INDICTED FOR SEXUAL EXPLOITATION OF CHILDREN AND POSSESSION OF CHILD PORNOGRAPHY

(BROWNSVILLE, Texas) - Ramiro C. Lozano, 46, has been indicted by a federal grand jury and charged with three counts of sexual exploitation of children and two counts of possession of child pornography, United States Attorney Tim Johnson announced today. Lozano was a choir teacher at the Brownsville Independent School District’s (BISD) Besteiro Middle School but has since been terminated by the district.

Lozano is expected to surrender to investigative agents on Tuesday, July 14, 2009, and to thereafter make an initial appearance before a United States Magistrate Judge in Brownsville. The indictment, returned under seal on July 7, 2009, was unsealed late last week. 

In December 2008, officers of the Weslaco Police Department found Lozano asleep in his vehicle parked along the side of a road. A search of his car led to the initiation of the investigation by the BISD Police Department and Immigration and Customs Enforcement which led to these charges. 

The five-count indictment charges Lozano with three counts of sexual exploitation of a minor, that is, he allegedly persuaded, induced, enticed and coerced a minor to engage in sexually explicit conduct for the purpose of producing  a visual depiction of the conduct. One count alleges the visual depiction of a minor engaged in sexually explicit conduct was produced on June 3, 2008. The other two visual depictions are alleged to have occurred on Nov. 20, 2008. Each count of sexual exploitation of a child carries a mandatory minimum punishment of 15 years and a maximum of 30 years  imprisonment to be followed by no less than five years up to a life term of supervised release.

The two remaining counts of the indictment accuse Lozano of possessing child pornography on a laptop computer and on a desktop computer on Dec. 21, 2008. A conviction for possessing child pornography carries a maximum sentence of 10 years imprisonment to be followed by no less than five years up to a lifetime of supervised release. All counts also carry a maximum $250,000 fine upon conviction. 

The case will be prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Megan Paulson.

This case was brought as part of Project Safe Childhood, a nationwide initiative to combat the growing epidemic of child sexual exploitation and abuse launched in May 2006 by the Department of Justice. Led by United States 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 exploit children via the Internet, as well as to identify and rescue victims. For more information about Project Safe Childhood, please visit www.projectsafechildhood.gov.

 

 

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