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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
Southern District of Texas

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Wednesday, July 28, 2021

Corpus Christi woman gets 30 years for sexual exploitation of a child

CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas – A 55-year-old local woman has been ordered to federal prison for conspiring to entice a minor to engage in sexually explicit conduct for the purpose of producing child pornography, announced Acting U.S. Attorney Jennifer Lowery.

Diana Martinez pleaded guilty March 2. At that time, she admitted to conspiring with Santos Gonzalez, 53, Robstown, to produce and send illicit photographs of a minor victim. In exchange, Gonzalez provided her money for groceries and medication.

Today, U.S. District Judge Drew B. Tipton handed Martinez a sentence of 360 months. Following her incarceration, she will serve 10 years of supervised release, during which time she will have to comply with numerous requirements designed to restrict her access to children and the internet. Martinez will also be ordered to register as a sex offender.

Martinez came to the attention of law enforcement in May 2020. Authorities learned about the suspected abuse and discovered a tablet used to commit the crimes.

The Facebook accounts of Gonzalez and Martinez revealed they had been communicating since at least January 2016 which continued through May 2020. Throughout the thousands of pages of interaction, Gonzalez wrote of wanting to have sexual intercourse with the minor victim. Martinez would then take nude photographs of the minor victim and send them to Gonzalez in exchange for money.

Martinez has been and will remain in custody pending transfer to a U.S. Bureau of Prisons facility to be determined in the near future.

Judge Tipton previously sentenced Gonzalez to a total term of 420 months in federal prison.

Homeland Security Investigations, Corpus Christi Police Department’s Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force and the Texas Department of Public Safety conducted the investigation.

Assistant U.S. Attorneys Sara Popejoy and Dennis Robinson are prosecuting 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.

 

Topic(s): 
Project Safe Childhood
Component(s): 
Updated July 28, 2021