Elementary School Teacher Charged with Distribution of Child Pornography
|Aug. 31, 2012|
HOUSTON – Juan A. Villarreal, 52, of Houston, has been arrested on charges of distribution of child pornography, United States Attorney Kenneth Magidson announced today. Villarreal is an elementary teacher with the Houston Independent School District (HISD).
Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) agents arrested Villarreal this morning. He made his initial appearance before U.S. Magistrate Judge Nancy K. Johnson this afternoon, at which time he was ordered into custody pending a detention hearing set for Sept. 5, 2012.
The criminal complaint filed just a short time ago alleges that on July 10, 2012, an undercover officer working as part of HSI’s Beaumont Operation Safe-T-Net identified a computer that was making child pornography available over the Internet. The undercover officer successfully downloaded one movie file in its entirety which allegedly depicts an adolescent female victim, approximately 13 to 15 years of age, and a prepubescent male victim, approximately 11 to 13 years of age. According to the complaint, the images included both victims masturbating. Later, the female victim is also shown performing oral sex on the prepubescent male.
The officer also partially downloaded two additional videos from the same computer. According to the complaint, the images displayed in this video depict a prepubescent female victim approximately 8-10 years of age in various states of undress but mostly nude. The images included male genitalia touching, or in close proximity to, the female victim’s private area as well as the female performing oral sex on the adult male, according to the complaint. Of approximately 24 images displayed during the video, approximately 19 allegedly depict child pornography. In one scene, the female victim can be seen covering her face with her hands while the adult male ejaculates on her face and in her hair. The closing credits provide “starring 8 year old Tara,” according to the complaint.
The computer was traced to Villarreal at a residence in Houston and the case was referred to HSI Houston for further investigation. According to the complaint, on Aug. 28, 2012, agents obtained information indicating Villarreal was employed by HISD and conducted surveillance at Anderson Elementary School in Houston. The complaint alleges that Villarreal’s car was located in the employee parking lot and that HISD confirmed he was a third grade teacher at the school.
Today, HSI agents executed a search warrant at Villarreal’s residence, at which time several images and videos of child pornography were discovered on a thumb drive inserted in a computer located within the residence.
If convicted, Villarreal faces a minimum of five and up to 20 years in prison along with a fine up to $250,000. He also faces a possible life term of post-prison supervised release.
This case, prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Robert Stabe, 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 the United States Attorneys' Offices and the Criminal Division's Child Exploitation and Obscenity Section, Project Safe Childhood marshals federal, state and local resources to locate, apprehend and prosecute individuals who sexually exploit children, and to identify and rescue victims. For more information about Project Safe Childhood, please visit www.usdoj.gov/psc. For more information about internet safety education, please visit www.usdoj.gov/psc and click on the tab "resources."
A criminal complaint is an accusation of criminal conduct, not evidence.
A defendant is presumed innocent unless and until convicted through due process of law.