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Justice News

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

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Tuesday, May 18, 2021

Atascosa Man Sentenced to Federal Prison for Coercing Minors into Performing Sexually Explicit Conduct

SAN ANTONIO – U.S. District Judge Fred Biery today sentenced 23-year-old Felipe Jesus Duron of Atascosa to 29 years in federal prison followed by 11 years of supervised release for coercing minors into engaging in sexually explicit conduct. 

“Thanks to the efforts of our law enforcement partners and the prosecutor in this case, the defendant will no longer be able to commit such unspeakable acts against children,” said U.S. Attorney Hoff.  “Today’s sentence reflects the seriousness of the defendant’s despicable conduct and shines a light on the strength of a 14-year-old victim who had the courage to report the defendant’s actions.  I commend the social media platform and National Center for Missing and Exploited Children for bringing this matter to the attention of law enforcement.”

On July 14, 2020, Duron pleaded guilty to one count of coercion and enticement of a child, one count of production of child pornography, one count of receipt of child pornography and one count of extortion.  According to court records, Duron used internet accessible devices between February 2019 and March 2019 to entice multiple minors, primarily ages 13 to 14, into sending nude photographs wherein they were engaged in sexually explicit conduct.  Duron used those photographs to extort the minors, claiming he would release the sexually explicit photographs to their family and friends if they did not provide additional images of sexual activity. He also required them to enter real time video chat rooms where they were coerced into performing sexual acts for adult males as Duron watched.

“The sentence imposed today shows the U.S. Justice Department’s commitment to ensure the safety and innocence of our nation’s children,” said FBI Special Agent in Charge Christopher Combs, San Antonio Division. “The FBI and its law enforcement partners remain dedicated to protecting our nation’s future by ensuring our children can prosper where individuals like Duron do not threaten their welfare.”

The San Antonio FBI’s Crimes Against Children Task Force and the Texas Attorney General’s Office conducted this investigation.  Duron has remained in federal custody since his arrest on October 5, 2019.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Bettina Richardson prosecuted this case.

This case was brought as part of Project Safe Childhood, a nationwide initiative to combat the epidemic of child sexual exploitation and abuse launched in May 2006 by the Department of Justice.  Led by U.S. Attorneys’ Offices and the Criminal Division’s Child Exploitation and Obscenity Section, Project Safe Childhood marshals federal, state and local resources to better locate, apprehend and prosecute individuals who exploit children via the Internet, as well as to identify and rescue victims.  For more information about Project Safe Childhood, please visit www.projectsafechildhood.gov.

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Topic(s): 
Project Safe Childhood
Component(s): 
Contact: 
USAO/WDTX Media Relations (210) 384-7257 usatxw-mediainquiry@usdoj.gov
Updated May 19, 2021