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Press Release

Columbia County man sentenced to federal prison for producing child pornography

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, Southern District of Georgia
Defendant faces state child molestation charges involving separate victims

AUGUSTA, GA:  A Columbia County man has been sentenced to nearly 30 years in federal prison after pleading guilty to producing images of child sexual exploitation.

Hector Salazar Torres, 30, of Grovetown, Ga., was sentenced to 325 months in prison after pleading guilty to Production of Child Pornography, said Jill E. Steinberg, U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of Georgia. U.S. District Court Judge J. Randal Hall also ordered Torres to pay $9,600 in restitution and assessments, to register as a sex offender, and to serve 20 years of supervised release upon completion of his prison term. There is no parole in the federal system.

“We applaud the diligence of our law enforcement partners in identifying Hector Torres and holding him accountable,” said U.S. Attorney Steinberg. “The most vulnerable citizens in our community are safer when predators are behind bars.”

As described in court documents and testimony, Grovetown police officers were investigating the reported sexual assault of a child when they seized Torres’ cell phone. The FBI reviewed the contents of the phone and identified dozens of images and videos of child sexual abuse, including a video of a toddler. By matching an image in the video to a scar on Torres’ hand, investigators determined Torres produced the video with his phone.

Torres also faces state prosecution on child molestation charges involving victims unrelated to the federal case.

“The sexual abuse and exploitation of children is an absolutely horrific offense,” said Matthew Ploskunak, Senior Supervisory Special Agent in Charge of FBI Atlanta’s Augusta office. “Torres’s sentence will give him plenty of time to think about his unacceptable behavior, but more importantly while in prison, he won’t be able to harm any more children.”

The case was investigated by the FBI and the Grovetown Police Department, and prosecuted for the United States by Assistant U.S. Attorney and Project Safe Childhood Coordinator Jason W. Blanchard.

Anyone with information on suspected child sexual exploitation can contact the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children at 800-843-5678, or


Barry L. Paschal, Public Affairs Officer: 912-652-4422

Updated July 10, 2024

Project Safe Childhood
Press Release Number: 33-24