HOUSTON – A 34-year-old resident of Houston is in custody for charges relating to sexual exploitation of a child, otherwise known as producing child pornography, announced U.S. Attorney Ryan Patrick.
A federal grand jury returned the indictment against Richard Reyes Trigo today for sexual exploitation of children as well as distribution and possession of child pornography. He is expected to make an appearance on the indictment in the near future.
He was originally charged by criminal complaint following suspicion he actively engaged in the sexual exploitation of a minor female under the age of two. He was taken into federal custody July 15 and made his initial appearance before U.S. Magistrate Judge Peter Bray, at which time he was ordered detained pending further criminal proceedings.
The charges allege Trigo engaged in conversations via a social media forum that individuals who have a sexual interest in children allegedly frequent. Trigo saw a post that contained terms commonly associated with the sexual exploitation of children and responded, according to the charges. During the course of the chats, Trigo allegedly claimed he was sexually active with a minor female and claimed he performed sexual acts on her. Trigo later sent four images he claimed were of the minor, some of which focused on her vagina, according to the charges.
If convicted of producing child pornography, Trigo faces a minimum of 15 and up to 30 years in federal prison, while the distribution and possession charges carry additional penalties up to 20 and 10 years, respectively. Each charge also carries a possible $250,000 maximum fine.
The FBI conducted the investigation.
Assistant U.S. Attorneys Sherri Zack and Sherin Daniel are prosecuting the case, which was brought as part of Project Safe Childhood(PSC), a nationwide initiative the Department of Justice (DOJ) launched in May 2006 to combat the growing epidemic of child sexual exploitation and abuse. U.S. Attorneys’ Offices and the Criminal Division’s Child Exploitation and Obscenity Section leads PSC, which marshals federal, state and local resources to locate, apprehend and prosecute individuals who sexually exploit children and identifies and rescues victims. For more information about PSC, please visit DOJ’s PSC page. For more information about internet safety education, please visit the resources tab on that page.
An indictment is a formal accusation of criminal conduct, not evidence.
A defendant is presumed innocent unless convicted through due process of law.