News and Press Releases

McAllen Man Sentenced to 17 ½ years for Receiving Child Pornography Via the Internet

   
March 27, 2012

McALLEN, Texas – Xavier Degollado, 31, of McAllen, Texas, has been sentenced to 210 months in prison for receipt of child pornography, United States Attorney Kenneth Magidson announced today.

“This is not a victimless crime,” said U.S. District Judge Micaela Alvarez in handing down the sentence this morning, noting that Degollado has re-victimized young children who have already been sexually abused and has created a demand for such images. The court took that fact into consideration as well as testimony from Dr. Pina, a clinical psychologist who examined Degollado and testified on his behalf. “These children are the saddest type of victims we see,” said Judge Alvarez and further noted defendants like Degollado make a market for the re-victimization of young children who have already been sexually abused. “This offense can be more devastating that the actual sexual assault because it is continuous.” 

Degollado was further ordered to serve 10 years of supervised release following completion of his prison term, during which the court ordered Degollado be prohibited from accessing the Internet unless granted permission by his probation officer. Degollado will also be required to register as a sex offender for this offense.

The investigation originally began when Immigration and Customs Enforcement - Homeland Security Investigations (ICE-HSI) had identified a computer at Degollado’s residence associated with child pornography through a peer-to-peer network. On Nov. 10, 2011, ICE-HSI agents executed a search warrant at his residence in McAllen, Texas, at which time images of child pornography were discovered on his computer. A subsequent complete forensic examination of his computer resulted in the discovery of more than 500 images and 66 videos of clearly young children engaged in sexually explicit conduct, some of which included images of children under 12 years of age. Some of the images are of known victims who have been identified by the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children. Judge Alvarez, in handing out her decision, took into the consideration the graphic nature of the images, the young age of the victims and amount of images Degollado had collected prior to his arrest. 

The court continued the restitution order in this case until May 21, 2012, at 9:00 a.m. for a known victim of child pornography Delgado had in his extensive child pornography collection pending arguments from counsel and the government on the issue.

Previously released on bond, Degollado was remanded into federal custody following the hearing today pending transfer to a U.S. Bureau of Prison facility to be determined in the near future.

This case, prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Juan F. Alanis, 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."

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