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Justice News

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

Tuesday, September 3, 2013

Former HISD Elementary Teacher Heads To Prison For 20 Years On Child Pornography Convictions

HOUSTON – Juan Antonio Villarreal, 53, of Houston, has been ordered to federal prison following his convictions of distribution and possession of child pornography, United States Attorney Kenneth Magidson announced today. Villarreal entered a plea of guilty on Feb. 19, 2013.

Today, U.S. District Judge Vanessa Gilmore, who accepted the guilty plea, handed Villarreal 120 and 240 months for the possession and distribution convictions, respectively. The sentences will run concurrently for a total 20-year federal prison sentence. Additional evidence presented in court demonstrated Villarreal also tricked an underage female relative into taking nude photographs of herself and sending them to him, which he then circulated over the Internet. In handing down the sentence, Judge Gilmore stated that the photos of the young relative can never be retrieved from the Internet. Villarreal will serve 10 years of supervised release following completion of his prison term, during which time his access to computers, the Internet and children will be severely restricted. Villarreal will also be ordered to register as a sex offender.

The investigation began as a result of several downloads of child pornography over the Internet by a Beaumont police officer which were traced to a computer used by Villarreal. 

On Aug. 31, 2012, Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) agents executed a federal search warrant at the residence of Villarreal in Houston, at which time several images and videos of child pornography were discovered on a thumb drive inserted into a USB port on a Dell Desktop computer located within the residence. One of the videos included a known minor child victim performing oral sex on an adult male.

Child pornography was also found on a Dell desktop computer and five additional thumb drives found in the residence. A forensic exam on the devices resulted in the discovery of a total of approximately 1425 images and 277 videos of child pornography.

Villarreal confirmed he was a third grade teacher at an HISD elementary school. He also admitted he had received, viewed and downloaded child pornography for approximately five years.

The charges against Villarreal were the result of an investigation conducted by HSI. He has been in custody since his arrest Aug. 31, 2012, where he will remain pending transfer to a U.S. Bureau of Prisons facility to be determined in the near future.

This case, prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Robert Stabe, 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 www.usdoj.gov/psc. For more information about internet safety education, please visit www.usdoj.gov/psc and click on the tab "resources."

Updated April 30, 2015