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Press Release

El Salvador Man Sentenced to Federal Prison for 30 Years for Sexually Assaulting a Child

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, Northern District of Iowa

An El Salvador man residing in Sioux City who sexually assaulted a child was sentenced July 28, 2022, to 30 years in federal prison.

Juan Pablo Hernandez, age 44, originally from El Salvador but living in Sioux City, received the prison term after a March 10, 2022, guilty plea to aggravated sexual abuse of a child.

At the plea hearing, Hernandez admitted to driving from South Sioux City, Nebraska to Sioux City with a minor under the age of 12 to sexually assault the minor.  Hernandez took sexually explicit photographs of the minor. 

Hernandez was sentenced in Sioux City by United States District Court Chief Judge Leonard T. Strand.  Hernandez was sentenced to 360 months’ imprisonment.  He must also serve a 5-year term of supervised release after the prison term.  There is no parole in the federal system.

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  For more information about internet safety education, please visit and click on the tab “resources.”

Hernandez is being held in the United States Marshal’s custody until he can be transported to a federal prison.

The case was prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Ron Timmons and was investigated by the Sioux City Police Department and Homeland Security Investigations. 

Court file information at

The case file number is 21-4093.

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Updated August 3, 2022

Project Safe Childhood