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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
Eastern District of Washington

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Wednesday, July 8, 2020

Child Exploitation Offender Sentenced to 14 Years in Federal Prison

Kennewick Man Sentenced in Federal Court

Spokane – William D. Hyslop, United States Attorney for the Eastern District of Washington, announced that Jesus “Chewy” Rodriguez, age 28, of Kennewick, Washington, was sentenced today after having pleaded guilty on March 9, 2020, to Receipt of Child Pornography. Senior United States District Judge Wm. Fremming Nielsen sentenced Rodriguez to a 14-year term of imprisonment, to be followed by 20 years of court supervision after he is released from federal prison. This federal case is Rodriguez’s second conviction for sex with a minor girl; he was previously sentenced to 21 months in Benton County for similar conduct.

According to information disclosed during court proceedings, Rodriguez’s child exploitation conduct far exceeded downloading images of child pornography from the Internet. He used social media to reach out to more than a dozen young women and girls, some as young as 12 years old. He requested that minor girls take and send him pornographic images of themselves, and he tried to meet up with them for sex. On at least two separate occasions, Rodriguez successfully met up with a 14-year-old girl, and then a 15-year-old girl, to engage in illicit sexual conduct with them in exchange for a cell phone and marijuana. While he was engaging in sex with the 14-year-old girl in his truck, Rodriguez was in possession of a firearm in the truck.

United States Attorney Hyslop said, “The sentence imposed today sends a strong message to anyone who may try to exploit children for sexual gratification. It is a priority of the United States Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of Washington to prosecute anyone who traffics in child pornography or meets up with minors in person for sex. These crimes will be actively investigated by federal, state and local law enforcement officers. I commend the outstanding investigative efforts by the Yakima Resident Office of the FBI in this case.”

This case was pursued as part of Project Safe Childhood, a nationwide initiative launched in May 2006 by the United States 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. The Project Safe Childhood Initiative (“PSC”) has five major components:

· Integrated federal, state, and local efforts to investigate and prosecute child exploitation cases, and to identify and rescue children;

· Participation of PSC partners in coordinated national initiatives;

· Increased federal enforcement in child pornography and enticement cases;

· Training of federal, state, and local law enforcement agents; and

· Community awareness and educational programs.

For more information about Project Safe Childhood, please visit www.usdoj.gov/psc. For information about internet safety education, please visit www.usdoj.gov/psc and click on the tab “resources.”

This case was investigated by the Yakima Resident Office of the Federal Bureau of Investigation and Special Agent Jennifer Terami. This case was prosecuted by David M. Herzog, an Assistant United States Attorney for the Eastern District of Washington.

Topic(s): 
Project Safe Childhood
Press Release Number: 
2:19-cr-00074-WFN
Updated July 10, 2020