Former Handord teacher sentenced to 8 years for receiving child pornography

Former Hanford High School teacher Eric Rodriguez, 36, was sentenced today by United States District Court Judge Anthony W. Ishii to eight years and one-month in prison, to be followed by 15 years of supervised release, for receiving child pornography.
 
According to court documents, Rodriguez received approximately 30 separate videos depicting minors engaging in sexually explicit conduct. These videos also involved the portrayal of sadistic, masochistic, and other depictions of violence. Rodriguez received the child pornography on his computer via the Internet, and many of the minors depicted were prepubescent minors.
 
“This sentence should serve as a stern warning to anyone who possesses and distributes child pornography and believes the anonymity of the Internet will shield them from detection,” said Mike Prado, resident agent in charge of ICE Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) Fresno. “This case is particularly disturbing in light of the defendant’s position as a teacher and coach. “HSI will continue to work closely with our local law enforcement partners to investigate those who sexually exploit our young people and ensure that these predators feel the full weight of the law.”
 
This case is the result of an investigation by the Central California Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force that includes the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations (HSI). The investigations unit within the Kings County District Attorney’s Office assisted. Assistant United States Attorney Brian W. Enos prosecuted the case.
 
This case was brought as part of Project Safe Childhood, a nationwide initiative launched in May 2006 by the 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 those who sexually exploit children, and to identify and rescue victims. For more information about Project Safe Childhood, please visit www.usdoj.gov/psc. Click on the “resources” tab for information about Internet safety education.
 

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