Two Local Men Plead Guilty to Sexual Exploitation of a Child
|March 1, 2012|
CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas - Jose Rene Alaniz, 43, and David Hernandez, 29, have each entered pleas of guilty in unrelated cases to sexual exploitation of a child, commonly referred to as production of child pornography, United States Attorney Kenneth Magidson announced today.
Alaniz pleaded guilty before U.S. District Judge Nelva Gonzalez Ramos, admitting he used the name “Jonathan Rendon” as an alias to communicate with numerous children on Internet-based social networking sites.
On Aug. 16, 2011, a concerned father of a 12-year-old daughter reported the discovery of inappropriate messages on her phone from an individual calling himself “Jonathan Rendon,” claiming to be 18 years old. Alaniz was requesting that the girl send him naked photos of herself. The victim’s father allowed detectives with the Corpus Christi Police Department’s (CCPD) Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force (ICAC) access his daughter’s accounts and online identity. ICAC detectives began communicating with Alaniz via the Internet and text messaging, during which he repeatedly expressed his sexual interest in children and his desire to receive sexually explicit photographs from a child he knew to be 12 years old.
CCPD-ICAC enlisted the help of Immigration and Customs Enforcement – Homeland Security Investigations (ICE-HSI) to conduct a joint investigation of the unlawful activities of Alaniz. When the police told Alaniz the girl did not have a camera with which to take the nude photos he was requesting, he agreed to provide one. On Oct. 5, 2011, Alaniz was filmed dropping off a camera at the pre-arranged location for the child’s use. The next day, federal search warrants were executed on his home and place of employment and numerous electronic media storage devices were seized. An examination of those devices revealed that Alaniz had victimized other children.
Also today, in an unrelated case before Senior United States District Judge Hayden Head, Hernandez pleaded guilty to the same charge.
On March 12, 2011, a concerned citizen reported a sexual assault in progress at the Los Encinos Elementary School in Corpus Christi. When officers with CCPD arrived at the location, they observed Hernandez sexually assaulting a 13-year-old boy. When police approached Hernandez, he covered himself and attempted to walk away. Hernandez was arrested and found to be possession of a cell phone, which was turned over to CCPS’s Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force (ICAC). A subsequent search of that cell phone led to the discovery of several videos depicting Hernandez sexually assaulting the boy. Further forensic analysis revealed that the videos contained therein were made on the phone by Hernandez between December 2010 and March 2011.
Alaniz and Hernandez have both been in custody since their arrests where they will remain pending their respective sentencing hearings on May 30 and 2, 2012. They both face a possible sentence of 15 to 30 years imprisonment.
Both cases, prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Lance Duke, were 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.