LOS ANGELES – An Aliso Viejo man was sentenced today to 180 months in federal prison for traveling to China to engage in illegal sexual activity with a 16-year-old boy who was under his care and supervision at the time.
Ezequiel Christopher Barragan, 53, was sentenced by United States District Judge André Birotte Jr., who said that Barragan abused his positions of trust to gain access to victims.
Barragan pleaded guilty in October 2018 to one count of travel with intent to engage in illicit sexual conduct and one count of engaging in illicit sexual conduct in foreign places. He previously taught middle school and high school students, coached youth baseball, and at one-time was a court-appointed mentor and foster parent for abused or neglected children.
Barragan admitted in his plea agreement that in August 2009 he traveled from the United States to China with the intent to engage in illicit sexual conduct. While in China, Barragan engaged in illicit and sexually explicit conduct with the 16-year-old victim. Barragan admitted he produced child pornography with the victim during this time.
In his plea agreement, Barragan admitted that, on numerous occasions between 1998 and 2012, he traveled from the United States to foreign countries where he engaged in illicit sexual conduct with boys between the ages of 13 and 16 years old. He also admitted he often gave his victims food, cash and goods.
This matter was investigated by the United States Postal Inspection Service, which received substantial assistance from the Los Angeles Joint Regional Intelligence Center and U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s Homeland Security Investigations.
This case was prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Damaris Diaz of the Violent and Organized Crime Section.
LOS ANGELES – A federal grand jury today named an Aliso Viejo man in an indictment that accuses him of traveling to China to engage in illegal sexual activity with a 16-year-old and taking sexually explicit photographs of the victim.
Ezequiel Christopher Barragan, 51 – who previously was a Spanish teacher at Dana Hills High School, as well as a youth baseball coach – was charged today in a three-count indictment that accuses him of producing child pornography, traveling with the intent to engage in illicit sexual conduct with a minor, and engaging in illicit sexual conduct with a minor in a foreign place.
According to the indictment, Barragan traveled to China in August 2009, where he allegedly coerced a boy to engage in sexual conduct “for the purpose of producing a visual depiction of such conduct.”
The charge of producing child pornography carries a mandatory minimum prison sentence of 15 years and a maximum of 30 years. The charges of international travel and engaging in illicit sexual activity each carry a statutory maximum sentence of 30 years in federal prison.
An indictment contains allegations that a defendant has committed a crime. Every defendant is presumed to be innocent until and unless proven guilty in court.
Barragan, who is currently serving a state prison sentence in an unrelated case, will be arraigned on the indictment in the coming weeks. The case against Barragan was investigated by the United States Postal Inspection Service, which received substantial assistance from the Los Angeles Joint Regional Intelligence Center and the Orange County Child Exploitation Task Force.
This case was indicted by Assistant United States Attorney Vanessa Baehr-Jones of the Violent and Organized Crime Section.