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Oct. 14, 2009

TEACHER PLEADS GUILTY TO SEXUAL EXPLOITATION OF A CHILD

(BROWNSVILLE, Texas) – On Tuesday, Oct. 13, 2009, Ramiro C. Lozano, 46, pleaded guilty to two counts of sexual exploitation of children - admitting to having enticed young boys into posing for sexually explicit photographs, 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, indicted and arrested in July 2009, appeared in federal court on Tuesday morning before United States District Judge Andrew Hanen and admitted to having persuaded, induced, enticed and coerced three then 13-year-old boys to engage in sexually explicit conduct for the purpose of producing  a visual depiction of the conduct. He admitted to committing the offense on June 3, 2008, and again 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.

Weslaco Police Department (WPD) officers arrested Lozano on Dec. 21, 2008, for public intoxication after finding him asleep in his car parked along the side of a road. An inventory search of Lozano’s car resulted in officers discovering several pornographic DVDs along with a laptop computer and a digital camera containing numerous images of child pornography. Today, Lozano admitted the items were his and to having taken the photographs depicting three young boys exposing their genitals, including their penises and testicles. The three young boys depicted in the images were identified  and interviewed by investigators. Today, Lozano admitted to having persuaded the boys - all about 13 years old at the time of the offense - to exposing their genitalia and thereafter photographing each of the boy’s genitalia. The photographs were taken by Lozano at Besteiro Middle School in Brownsville, Cameron County, Texas. The laptop computer holding the images and the digital camera used to take the pictures of the young boys were the items found by the WPD in Lozano’s vehicle in December 2008.  

Lozano is in federal custody without bond pending sentencing on Jan. 13, 2010.
 
The case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Megan Paulson.
The charges are the result of an Investigation conducted by officers with the Brownsville Independent School District and WPD and agents with the Immigration and Customs Enforcement. The 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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