EL PASO – An El Paso man was sentenced today to 17 years in prison for production of child pornography.
According to court documents, on July 15, 2019, Steven George Sperling, 36, was an active-duty service member stationed at Fort Bliss when he produced a lewd video of a minor child.
On July 14, 2021, Sperling pleaded guilty to one count of production of a visual depiction of a minor engaging in sexually explicit conduct. He has remained in federal custody since his arrest on July 18, 2019.
“Prosecuting dangerous sexual predators that exploit the innocence of children and cause unspeakable harm is always going to be a top priority for our office. Along with the FBI and our other valued partners in law enforcement, we remain dedicated to ensuring the safety of children in our community and online,” said U.S. Attorney Ashley C. Hoff. “We will continue to use every resource available to identify and prosecute offenders like the defendant in this case to the full extent of the law.”
“A heartbreaking reality of the world we’re living in is the hidden abuse of children,” said FBI Special Agent in Charge Jeffrey R. Downey. “They’re suffering in silence every day, both in our community and around the world, as we go about our daily lives. The FBI El Paso’s Child Exploitation and Human Trafficking Task Force will relentlessly pursue every lead to rescue children who are being victimized and bring their perpetrators to justice. We strongly urge members of the public to help us in our fight to protect children, as they are some of the most vulnerable in our community. FBI El Paso can be reached 24 hours/ 7 days a week at (915) 832-5000.”
The FBI investigated the case.
Assistant U.S. Attorney Ian M. Hanna and Special Assistant U.S. Attorney Alana O’Reilly prosecuted the case.
This case was brought as part of Project Safe Childhood, a nationwide initiative to combat the growing epidemic of child sexual exploitation and abuse launched in May 2006 by the Department of Justice. Led by U.S. Attorneys’ Offices and CEOS, 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.justice.gov/psc.