PHILADELPHIA – United States Attorney William M. McSwain announced that José Antonio Luna Benscome, 42, of Philadelphia, PA, was sentenced by U.S. District Court Judge C. Darnell Jones to 30 years in prison to be followed by five years of supervised release for child pornography offenses. The defendant’s sentence also requires him to register as a sex offender under Megan’s Law.
In October 2019, Luna Benscome pleaded guilty to charges of manufacturing and possessing child pornography, related to his abuse of a four-year-old child. In July 2018, the mother of the victim observed Luna Benscome holding her child’s hand and acting in a strange manner in the kitchen of her residence in Philadelphia. The mother reviewed her home surveillance system’s video, and found footage that showed Luna Benscome molesting her child on multiple occasions. The mother confronted the defendant about the sexual abuse, and he confessed to her, but then tried to convince her not to report it to the police. The defendant also confessed to Philadelphia Police Department detectives once the crime was reported. Subsequent investigation revealed that, in addition to sexually abusing the child and photographing the abuse, Luna Benscome made the child watch pornography on a number of occasions, took numerous photographs of the child naked, and had the child touch his genitals.
“Sexual exploitation of a minor of any age, let alone a preschooler, is utterly reprehensible and will be met with swift justice,” said U.S. Attorney McSwain. “Because of the quick response of the victim’s mother, the Philadelphia Police Department, and the FBI, we uncovered additional evidence of this defendant’s crimes – ensuring that he will now spend decades behind bars, where he belongs.”
“Luna Benscome subjected a four-year-old child to serial sexual abuse, documenting those depraved acts for his continued gratification,” said Michael J. Driscoll, Special Agent in Charge of the FBI’s Philadelphia Division. “He’s a clear danger to children and has earned every minute behind bars to which he’s been sentenced. The FBI and our law enforcement partners are determined to take predators like this off the street, to prevent them from victimizing anyone else.”
This case is part of Project Safe Childhood (PSC), a program bringing together all levels of law enforcement and the communities they serve to reduce the sexual exploitation and abuse of children.
The case was investigated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the Philadelphia Police Department, and is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney José Arteaga.