Houston Man Hit with Hefty Federal Time for Multiple Child Exploitation Charges
|May 24, 2012|
HOUSTON – Jorge Juan Perez, a 29-year-old Houston man, has been ordered to serve 292 months in federal prison for transferring obscene material to a minor, coercing and enticing a minor as well as possessing child pornography, United States Attorney Kenneth Magidson announced today.
The Innocent Images Unit of the FBI Houston office, whose investigative efforts lead to the charges, arrested Perez on Wednesday, Dec. 15, 2010. At his detention hearing, U.S. Magistrate Judge Nancy Johnson considered testimony alleging that in 2008 Perez sent a letter and cash to a minor in California in an attempt to persuade, induce, entice or coerce her to fly to Houston and engage in sexual activity for which a person could be charged with a crime. In Texas, the crime would constitute sexual assault of a person between 14 and 16 years of age. Additionally, the court learned the State of California has issued warrants for Perez’s arrest for the alleged online enticement of a minor. The testimony also alleged that from October 2009 until July 2010 Perez maintained relationships with two minors in North Carolina by computer and cell phone. The court heard Perez allegedly attempted to persuade, induce, entice and coerce the minors to create visual depictions of sexually explicit conduct by photographing and/or videotaping themselves. According to testimony, Perez allegedly used the threat of posting suggestive photos of the minors online if they did not comply with his demands. Perez also allegedly sent one of the minors obscene photographs of his genitals. Lastly, the court heard that Perez allegedly had ongoing online and phone contact with a 13-year-old Houston minor female and had allegedly sought out the minor and inquired about her to her friends and neighbors. Based upon these alleged factors, the court found that Perez would pose a danger to the community if released on bond.
On Oct. 7, 2011, Perez pleaded guilty. While in federal custody, Perez befriended another inmate and told the inmate he wanted to kill the FBI special agent who arrested him. Perez indicated he and a friend planned to kill the agent with a bomb. The inmate who alerted authorities to this plan told authorities Perez was skilled in converting transistor radios from AAA batteries to AA batteries.
After considering all the evidence, U.S. District Judge Gray Miller handed Perez the more than 24-year-term and further ordered he be placed on supervised release for life. In handing down that sentence, Judge Miller noted that the crime committed by Perez was a predatory crime.
This case 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."
This case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney (AUSA) Sherri L. Zack. AUSA Robert Stabe represented the United States at the hearing today.