Austin Man Sentenced to Federal Prison for Possessing Thousands of Images of Child Pornography
In Austin today, a federal judge sentenced 47-year-old Fernando Solis to 151 months in federal prison for possessing thousands of images of child pornography, said U.S. Attorney Ashley C. Hoff and FBI Special Agent in Charge Christopher Combs, San Antonio Division.
In addition to the prison term, U.S. District Judge Lee Yeakel ordered that Solis pay $36,000 in restitution to a dozen known child victims and be placed on supervised release for 10 years after completing his prison term.
On August 25, 2020, Solis pleaded guilty to one count of possession of child pornography. By pleading guilty, Solis admitted that from 2013 through 2018, he visited internet sites and used various chat applications to obtain child pornography, including live sex shows involving underage minors in the Philippines. Furthermore, the defendant actively paid for access to child pornography by wiring money over 50 times to the Philippines in amounts ranging from $25 to $100. A dozen victims submitted Victim Impact Statements to Judge Yeakel in support of their requests for restitution and justice.
“The sentence imposed reflects our office’s continued commitment in working with our law enforcement partners to identify, investigate and prosecute those who prey upon society’s most vulnerable victims—children,” said U.S. Attorney Hoff. “The victims’ voices have been heard and some measure of justice for their harm was served today.”
In November 2018, FBI agents executed a search warrant at Solis’s residence in Austin. During the search, agents seized the defendant’s laptop, iPad and related computer media. A forensics examination revealed that Solis received and made available for distribution more than 1,800 images or videos of child pornography.
According to court records, on May 25, 1995, Solis was convicted of Attempted Sexual Battery of a Victim Under 12 Years of Age in Florida and sentenced to six years imprisonment.
"Every day, children around the world and in our community endure sexual exploitation to satisfy the endless and depraved demand for child sexual abuse material," said FBI Special Agent in Charge Combs. "The FBI's Child Exploitation Task Force will relentlessly pursue every lead to rescue children who are being victimized and bring their perpetrators to justice. We would encourage members of the public to help us protect children who are the most vulnerable in our community."
The FBI investigated and Assistant U.S. Attorney Karthik Srinivasan 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.