32-Year Old Houston Man Indicted for Distributing and Possessing Child Pornography Ordered Held Without Bond
|Aug, 5, 2011|
HOUSTON – A 32-year-old Houston resident has been ordered to remain in federal custody without bond pending trial on charges of possessing and distributing child pornography, United States Attorney José Angel Moreno announced today.
Following a detention hearing this morning, U.S. Magistrate Judge Stephen W. Smith ordered Pedro Rosales, 32, to remain in federal custody pending trial. Indicted on July 26, 2011, by a Houston grand jury, Rosales was transferred on Aug. 2, 2011, from state custody where he has been held since a January 2011 arrest of similar state charges.
The federal charges against Rosales are the result of an investigation conducted by the United States Secret Service (USSS) and members of the Houston Metro Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force (Houston Metro ICAC). During today’s hearing, the court heard testimony regarding that investigation. According to that testimony, Rosales was making child pornography available to others through the use of Peer to Peer software over the Internet. A special agent downloaded an image of child pornography from the extensive list Rosales had allegedly made available on line to those using similar Peer to Peer software by Rosales. The images, which included children under the age of 12 being sexually violated by adults, or positioned in poses which exposed their genitalia in a lewd/lascivious manner or being subjected to bondage, were available from a “shared” folder on his computer.
As part of the investigation, agents obtained records identifying the computer, its location and the subscriber information identifying Rosales. In early January 2011, investigating agents executed a warrant at Rosales’ Houston area home and seized a computer which upon forensic examination was found to contain more than 600 digital images and approximately 36 videos of child pornography. The court also heard testimony that Rosales allegedly attempted to persuade a juvenile family member to claim responsibility for the child pornography believing that if the juvenile claimed the images/videos, the family member would not be prosecuted because of age.
If convicted of distributing child pornography, Rosales faces a minimum sentence of five years and a maximum of 20 years imprisonment without parole to be followed by a term of supervised release for any term of years up to life during which the court can impose a number of special conditions designed to protect children. Statutorily, the penalty for a possession of child pornography conviction carries a maximum prison term of 10 years. Additionally, if convicted, Rosales will be required to register as a sex offender. Trial is presently set before United States District Court Judge Vanessa D. Gilmore on Oct. 11, 2011.
This case 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.
Assistant United States Attorney Sherri L. Zack is prosecuting the case.