Man, 25, pleads guilty to possessing child porn involving sadistic abuse of toddlers

Texarkana Federal Courthouse
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A 25-year-old man pleaded guilty Thursday to possession of child pornography before a federal judge in Texarkana.

Francisco Leija-Hernandez faces up to 20 years in federal prison at sentencing. Leija-Hernandez appeared before U.S. Magistrate Judge Caroline Craven with Longview, Texas, attorney Jason Cassel for a change of plea hearing in the Texarkana Division of the Eastern District of Texas.

Leija-Hernandez pleaded guilty to count two of a two-count indictment. According to a factual basis document filed Thursday, Leija-Hernandez possessed more than 600 images of children being sexually exploited.

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When seized in June, Leija-Hernandez’s computer equipment was discovered to contain pictures and videos of children being sexually abused, including infants and toddlers.

Videos found in Leija-Hernadez’s possession include a video of a prepubescent boy with his hands bound to his ankles with handcuffs while being sexually assaulted by an adult male. Another video depicts the abuse of a male toddler.

Another video depicts a young female who has not reached puberty being sexually assaulted by an adult male. Other images include a boy wearing only a blue mask covering part of his face while in a cage.

A video more than 28 minutes long found in Leija-Hernandez’s possession depicts a prepubescent boy engaged in sexual activity while being recorded via the Skype application.

Leija-Hernandez faces up to 20 years in federal prison and a fine up to $250,000. He could also be ordered to pay $5,000 to a fund for victims of human trafficking and will be required to register as a sex offender upon release from prison.

Leija-Hernandez has been in federal custody since his arrest in July. Sentencing will be scheduled in several months.

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