Mexican National Residing in Bakersfield Sentenced to 18 Months in Prison for Illegal Cockfighting in Violation of the Animal Welfare Act
FRESNO, Calif. —Senior United States District Judge Anthony W. Ishii sentenced Curtis Benjamin Hults, 63, of Twain Harte, to 19 years and seven months in prison, to be followed by a lifetime term of supervised release, for four counts of sexual exploitation of a minor and one count of receipt of child pornography, United States Attorney Benjamin B. Wagner announced.
Hults admitted in a plea agreement that between May 1, 2008, and October 8, 2012, he created images of four different minors engaging in sexually explicit conduct, stored them on a digital camera, and then transferred them to a computer. Hults also downloaded from the Internet more than 600 images of minors engaged in sexually explicit conduct, some of whom were prepubescent and some of the images depicted violence.
Hults has been in custody as a danger to the community and flight risk since his initial court appearance on October 17, 2013. He pleaded guilty on June 23, 2014.
This case was the result of an investigation by the FBI, the Visalia Police Department, the Tulare County District Attorney’s Office, and the Tuolumne County Sheriff’s Office. Assistant United States Attorney David Gappa prosecuted the case.
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 those who sexually exploit children, and to identify and rescue victims. For more information about Project Safe Childhood, please visit www.justice.gov/psc. Click on the “resources” tab for information about Internet safety education.