Argentine Citizen Sentenced To 35 Years In Prison For Child Sexual Exploitation And Distribution Of Child Pornography Over The Dark Web
LAS VEGAS, Nev. – Andres Rafael Viola, 36, an Argentine citizen residing in Las Vegas, was sentenced today to 35 years in federal prison for repeatedly sexually assaulting a child, producing images of the sexual abuse, and possessing hundreds of images and videos of child sexual assault, announced U.S. Attorney Nicholas A. Trutanich for the District of Nevada, Special Agent in Charge Francisco Burrola for Homeland Security Investigations (HSI), and Sheriff Joseph Lombardo of the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department (LVMPD).
Viola pleaded guilty in February 2020 to sexual exploitation of children and possession of child pornography. In addition to imprisonment, U.S. District Judge Richard F. Boulware II sentenced Viola to a lifetime term of supervised release. Under the Sex Offender Registration and Notification Act (SORNA), Viola must register as a sex offender. Viola’s sentence also includes a $10,000 assessment pursuant to the Justice of Victims of Trafficking Act.
According to court documents, in May 2019, the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children (NCMEC) received a report from Yahoo, Inc. indicating that a user received child pornography sent by Viola, who was using the dark web Tor network to distribute images of child sexual assault.
On June 7, 2019, federal law enforcement arrested Viola at his Las Vegas residence. Law enforcement determined that Viola had supervisory control over a child victim. A forensic examination of electronic devices that were seized from Viola’s home revealed nearly 350 child pornography images and video, including Viola’s sexual exploitation of the child victim and a curated collection of child pornography from other victims. Viola had used the dark web to distribute, trade, and share the child sexual assault materials he created of the child victim.
For the hands-on offenses related to the child victim, Viola pleaded guilty in Nevada state court to one count of Sexual Assault of a Child under the Age of 14.
This case was the product of an investigation by HSI and the LVMPD. Assistant U.S. Attorneys Bianca Pucci and Elham Roohani prosecuted the case.
To report child sexual abuse and exploitation, contact the NCMEC at 1-800-THE-LOST (1-800-843-5678) or online at https://report.cybertip.org/.
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 U.S. Attorney’s Offices and the Department of Justice’s Child Exploitation and Obscenity Section, Project Safe Childhood marshals federal, state and local resources to better locate, apprehend and prosecute individuals who exploit children via the Internet, as well as to identify and rescue victims. For more information about Project Safe Childhood, please visit www.justice.gov/psc.