Local Doctor Gets Max For Possession Of Child Pornography
HOUSTON - Bernard Albina, 73, of Houston, has been handed the statutory maximum federal sentence of 10 years following his conviction for possessing child pornography, United States Attorney Kenneth Magidson announced today. Albina entered a guilty plea Tuesday, Nov. 27, 2012.
Today, U.S. District Judge Lee Rosenthal took into consideration the plea agreement between the parties and handed Albina a total of 120 months in federal prison and further ordered him to pay a $75,000 fine. At the hearing, two mothers of Albina’s victims spoke and described the harm Albina caused. Judge Rosenthal then ordered Albina to serve the rest of his life on supervised release following completion of his prison term, noting she believed he still has, as the mother of one of the victims stated, the demons which caused this behavior and suffers from a disconnect when it comes to his criminal behavior. Albina will also be ordered to register as a sex offender.
Arrested on the federal charges on Jan. 23, 2012, Albina was ordered into custody after the court heard evidence regarding the investigation and charges. At that time, the judge found Albina to be a danger to the community and that due to his considerable assets and possible links to Lebanon, he was a flight risk.
Albina previously admitted that from at least January 2003 he inappropriately associated with several young boys. During this time, he admitted he photographed two of those boys and the pictures displayed their genitals in a lascivious exhibition.
In July 2009, search warrants were executed at several locations associated with Albina which resulted in the discovery of numerous items including CDs, DVDs, video tapes and printed images found to include child pornography. Today, Albina admitted to possessing a total of 10 videos and 326 images containing child pornography.
Albina will remain in custody pending transfer to a U.S. Bureau of Prisons facility to be determined in the near future.
This case 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."
The charges against Albina are the result of an investigation conducted by the Houston Police Department. This case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Sherri L. Zack.