Yakima Man Who Used Facebook To Contact Children Then Produce Child Porn Sentenced To 25 Years In Prison
December 17, 2017
(SPOKANE, WA.) -- An eastern Washington man was sentenced on Thursday in Spokane to a quarter century in prison for the production of child pornography, announced Joseph H. Harrington, Acting United States Attorney for the Eastern District of Washington.
Eric J. Perez, of Yakima, Washington was sentenced to 25 years behind bars after having previously pleaded guilty in September, 2017, to Production of Child Pornography, Attempted Production of Child Pornography, Coercion and Enticement of a Minor to Engage in Criminal Sexual Activity, Child Sex Trafficking, Attempted Child Sex Trafficking, and Possession of Child Pornography.
United States District Judge Salvador Mendoza, Jr. sentenced Perez to the long prison term, to be followed by a life term of supervised release upon release from federal prison.
According to court records in the case, Perez contacted eight girls, all between 12 and 16 years old by Facebook message and coerced them to engage in sex and, in some cases, to produce pornographic images of themselves.
He fathered two children with the ninth victim, of whom he also produced child pornography.
Perez caused one victim, a thirteen-year-old, to engage in commercial sex with his stepbrother, Albert Castro, Jr., of Quincy, Washington. Castro was sentenced on December 1, 2017 to a seven-year term of imprisonment that criminal conduct.
Harrington's statement this week says the two brothers’ crimes were discovered after a sister of one of the child-victims informed a school counselor that she was concerned about her sister’s Facebook contacts with Perez.
The counselor immediately informed the Quincy, Washington Police Department. The Quincy Police Department, together with the FBI, discovered that Perez’s Facebook account contained multiple conversations between Perez and several young girls.
This case was pursued as part of Project Safe Childhood, a nationwide initiative launched in May 2006 by the United States 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 information about internet safety education, please visit www.usdoj.gov/psc and click on the tab “resources.”