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Press Release

Visalia & Simi Valley Men Sentenced to Federal Prison for Possessing Child Pornography

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, Eastern District of California

FRESNO, Calif. — United States Attorney Benjamin B. Wagner announced that on Monday, December 21, 2015, United States District Judge Lawrence J. O’Neill sentenced two defendants for child exploitation offenses.

In the first case, Steven Christopher Montes, 26, of Visalia, was sentenced to seven years in prison, to be followed by a 10-year term of supervised release, for possessing sexually explicit videos of minors. According to court documents, from November 2013 through August 2014 and while serving as a band teacher at Riverdale High School, Montes knowingly and surreptitiously took sexually explicit videos of minors on campus. Montes obtained the videos by directing student band members to remove all of their street clothes, including under garments, when changing into band or color guard uniforms inside a particular storage room where he had secretly set up a laptop computer to record them. In sentencing, Judge O’Neill stated that Montes’s conduct was “particularly reprehensible because of [his] position as an employee of the high school.”

This case was the product of an investigation by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations (HSI), the Fresno County Sheriff’s Office and the Kings County District Attorney Investigators’ Office. Assistant U.S. Attorneys Brian W. Enos and Vincente A. Tennerelli prosecuted the case.

In the second case, Alexander Kastler, 28, of Simi Valley, was sentenced to eight years and eight months in prison for possession of child pornography. According to court documents, Kastler, who has a previous conviction for possession of child pornography and was residing at a sober-living facility in Kern County, was found in possession of a cellphone and tablet computer that contained thousands of images of child pornography.

This case was the product of an investigation by the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations (HSI). Assistant U.S. Attorney Michael G. Tierney prosecuted the case.

Updated December 22, 2015

Project Safe Childhood
Press Release Number: 1:14-cr-194 LJO, 1:14-cr-268 LJO