Baytown man gets 60 years for sexually-exploiting children
HOUSTON – A 30-year-old man has been ordered to federal prison on multiple counts involving child pornography, announced Acting U.S. Attorney Jennifer B. Lowery.
Andrew Blake Delacruz pleaded guilty May 6 to three counts of sexual exploitation of children as well as possession and distribution of child pornography.
Today, U.S. District Judge Alfred Bennett ordered him to serve a total of 720 months in federal prison. At the hearing, the court heard victim statements explaining how Delacruz detrimentally impacted their lives and were seeking justice.
In handing down the sentence, Judge Bennett noted Delacruz’s egregious conduct in his victimization of three minors, one of whom had a mild mental disability.
Delacruz came to the attention of law enforcement after he sent images of child pornography of a minor female relative through an online chat group which was dedicated to the sexual exploitation of children.
On July 17, 2020, authorities executed a search warrant at his residence and seized his cellphones. At that time, they located a young female victim who reported that Delacruz had been sexually abusing her and would take pictures.
A forensic examination resulted in the discovery of seven videos and 41 images of that victim which showed oral and anal penetration. Law enforcement also found two other young victims of whom Delacruz had also produced child pornography.
One of those victims was only nine years of age at the time of the abuse. She reported that Delacruz would rub her thighs, buttocks and vaginal area and that he would perform oral sex on her. She also described how he would rub his penis on her vagina and attempted to vaginally penetrate her.
In addition, there were six images of child pornography of one of her friends. Delacruz has his penis exposed in the foreground of some of the images. In others, Delacruz’s hand is seen pulling down her pants and underwear, exposing her buttocks.
In addition to the child pornography Delacruz created of these minor victims, authorities also found 50 videos and seven images of other child pornography Delacruz had in his collection.
Delacruz has been and will remain in custody pending transfer to a U.S. Bureau of Prisons facility to be determined in the near future.
The FBI conducted the investigation.
Assistant U.S. Attorneys Kimberly Ann Leo and Luis Batarse prosecuted the case, which was brought as part of Project Safe Childhood (PSC), a nationwide initiative the Department of Justice (DOJ) launched in May 2006 to combat the growing epidemic of child sexual exploitation and abuse. U.S. Attorneys' Offices and the Criminal Division's Child Exploitation and Obscenity Section leads PSC, which marshals federal, state and local resources to locate, apprehend and prosecute individuals who sexually exploit children and identifies and rescues victims. For more information about PSC, please visit DOJ’s PSC page. For more information about internet safety education, please visit the resources tab on that page.