July 13, 2010
FORMER BISD CHOIR TEACHER SENTENCED TO LENGTHY PRISON TERM FOR SEXUALLY EXPLOITING CHILDREN
(BROWNSVILLE, Texas) – Ramiro C. Lozano, 47, of Brownsville, has been sentenced to prison for sexually exploiting children, United States Attorney José Angel Moreno announced today.
An investigation furthered by the Brownsville Independent School District (BISD) police department resulted in the indictment of Lozano in July, 2009. On Oct. 13, 2009, he pleaded guilty 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. Today, after hearing arguments from the Government and from the defendant, U.S. District Judge Hilda Tagle sentenced Lozano to 235 months in federal prison to be followed by a ten year term of supervised release.
Initially, 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. 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. 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 has been in federal custody and will remain in custody to serve his sentence.
The charges are the result of an investigation conducted by BISD and WPD police officers and Immigration and Customs Enforcement Homeland Security Investigations. The case was prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Megan Paulson.
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.
# # #