Former Marine Sentenced for Sexual Exploitation of a Child
CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas – A 37-year-old Aransas Pass man has been ordered to prison following his three convictions of sexual exploitation of a child, otherwise known as production of child pornography, announced U.S. Attorney Kenneth Magidson. John Anthony Perez pleaded guilty in May 2016.
After a lengthy hearing that concluded late today, Senior US. District Judge Hayden Head sentenced Perez to 250 months federal prison on each count to run consecutively. The 750-month total sentence will also be followed by 20 years of supervised release during which time he will have to comply with numerous requirements designed to restrict his access to children and the Internet. He will also be ordered to register as a sex offender. Judge Head also ordered $150,000 in restitution to be paid to each victim for a total of $450,000.
Perez came to the attention of authorities after authorities learned of the sexual assault of three young children. The children were identified and confirmed the abuse. Perez was identified as the perpetrator and admitted to sexual assaulting the three children and taking sexual explicit photographs and videos of the abuse. Perez admitted his interest in child pornography started when he was deployed overseas with the U.S. Marine Corps.
At today’s hearing, the court heard testimony from a Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) agent. The agent described the additional videos and images of child pornography Perez possessed, many of which depicted the sexual exploitation of infants, bondage and bestiality. A psychologist who evaluated the children also told the court that Perez had first abused the young children when they were toddlers.
In March 2016, law enforcement executed a search warrant at Perez’s residence and seized various electronic devices. Forensic examination led to the discovery of 37 videos and 189 images of Perez sexual assaulting three children. Authorities also discovered 494 other videos and more than 16,000 other images of child pornography.
Perez was arrested on the federal charges in March 2016 and has been in custody since that time where he will remain pending his transfer to a U.S. Bureau of Prisons facility to be determined in the near future.
The charges were the result of an investigation conducted by Homeland Security Investigations with the assistance of the Corpus Christi Police Department – Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force.
This case, prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Hugo R. Martinez, 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."