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Press Release

Former Marfa Substitute Teacher Pleads Guilty to Producing Child Sexual Abuse Material

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, Western District of Texas

ALPINE – Sonya Conchita Murillo, 32, who was a substitute teacher for the Marfa Independent School District, pleaded guilty last week to one count of production of child pornography.

According to court documents, during an investigation involving Murillo’s former boyfriend, Patricio Javier Serrano, 36, for possessing child sexual abuse materials, videos also were found of Murillo sexually abusing a minor. 

Murillo pleaded guilty to one count of production of child pornography. A sentencing date has not been set. Murillo faces a maximum penalty of 30 years in prison and a $250,000 fine. A federal district court judge will determine any sentence after considering the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines and other statutory factors. 

Murillo has been in federal custody since her arrest on June 7, 2023.

Serrano, who was charged in a separate indictment, was arrested on May 11, 2023, and has remained in federal custody since his arrest.  Serrano, a former Marfa youth softball coach, pleaded guilty on October 27, 2023, to one count of transportation of child pornography, aiding and abetting and one count of possession of child pornography.  He faces no less than five and up to 20 years in prison for the transportation charge, and up to 20 years in prison for the possession charge.  Serrano’s sentencing date is set for February 27, 2024.

U.S. Attorney Jaime Esparza of the Western District of Texas; FBI Special Agent in Charge John S. Morales, El Paso Field Office; and HSI Special Agent in Charge Francisco B. Burrola, El Paso Division, made the announcement.

The FBI, HSI, Texas Department of Public Safety, and Marfa Police Department are investigating the case.

Assistant U.S. Attorneys Amy Greenbaum and Kevin Cayton are prosecuting 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


Updated January 22, 2024

Project Safe Childhood