Sentencing in Harlingen man’s child pornography case delayed

MGN Online

A Harlingen man who pleaded guilty to possessing child pornography appeared at the federal courthouse Thursday morning in Brownsville, where the prosecutors delayed the man’s sentencing for another 60 days.

Genaro Torres Alejo Jr. was charged with one count of possession of child pornography in an indictment handed down by a grand jury on June 25, 2019. Alejo pleaded guilty Oct. 1, 2019, according to court records.

The indictment charged Alejo with knowingly possessing material that contained multiple images of child pornography, including depictions of a prepubescent minor who had not attained 12 years of age.

The man was scheduled to be sentenced Thursday.

During the hearing, prosecutors representing both parties agreed to a 60-day continuance to identify victims and determine appropriate means of compensation for those affected.

U.S. District Judge Fernando Rodriguez Jr. told attorneys that past cases have included victim impact statements and specific requests for retribution from identified victims.

Government prosecutors made note that an issue with the database used to identify victims had inhibited their efforts. Only one victim had been identified, but more requests were coming in, they told the judge.

According to a criminal complaint, Alejo was arrested May 30 after Homeland Security Investigations agents with the Rio Grande Valley Child Exploitation Investigation Task Force executed a search warrant at the man’s Harlingen residence.

Five days earlier, HSI agents identified an IP address in possession of image and video files of child pornography. They initiated an investigation, leading them to Alejo, according to the document.

The complaint stated that Alejo admitted to agents that he used his laptop to search for, receive, and possess images and video files of child pornography and that he had been doing so for two years.

An initial review of the laptop led to the discovery of the 200 video files, agents wrote.

esheridan@brownsvilleherald.com