CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas - Two Corpus Christi men have received significant sentences for sexual exploitation crimes that involved the use of social media, announced U.S. Attorney Ryan K. Patrick. Jesus Ramirez Jr., 27, and Julio Cesar Diaz, 31, pleaded guilty in September and January 2018, respectively, to production of child pornography in separate, but similar cases. Diaz also admitted to online solicitation of a minor.
Today, Senior U.S. District Judge Janis Graham Jack sentenced Ramirez to 280 months in federal prison. Additional information was also presented today demonstrating how Ramirez had been involved in soliciting at least five minor females online, posing as a much younger male named “Justin.” In handing down the sentence, the court noted need to protect the public and the unlikelihood that a pedophile such as he would ever stop being a danger. Ramirez will serve the rest of his life on supervised release following completion of his prison term, during which time he will have to comply with numerous requirements designed to restrict his access to children and the internet.
At a hearing yesterday, Judge Jack ordered Diaz to serve a total of 276 months in federal prison to be immediately followed by a life term of supervised release. At his hearing, additional information was presented detailing the number of victims and acts against them. The court also heard that Diaz was arrested after arriving at a predetermined location to have sex with a minor victim. In handing down the sentence, the court noted the need to protect the public.
Both men will also be ordered to register as sex offenders.
Ramirez admitted he had been using a false identity online to persuade and ultimately coerce minors to create and send nude and sexually graphic photos and videos of themselves to him. Each of the minors reported receiving disturbing messages from Ramirez. In them, Ramirez claimed to have created images that appeared to be naked pictures of them using photos found on their various social media accounts combined with pornographic photos. He threatened to send the created photos to the their friends and classmates.
While there was no evidence he had met any of the victims in person, law enforcement did recover evidence that he intended to do so using false and misleading information and messages.
Diaz admitted he had been using social media and a false name to meet minor females in and around Corpus Christi, grooming them via phone calls and chats. After a brief time, Diaz would request nude and sexually explicit images of the children and ultimately met some of the minors to engage in sexual activity.
Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s Homeland Security Investigations and Corpus Christi Police Department’s – Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force conducted both investigations with the assistance of the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children.
Assistant U.S. Attorney Brittany L. Jensen is prosecuting the case, which was brought as part of Project Safe Childhood, a nationwide initiative launched in May 2006 by the Department of Justice to combat the growing epidemic of child sexual exploitation and abuse. Led by the United States Attorneys' Offices and the Criminal Division's Child Exploitation and Obscenity Section, Project Safe Childhood marshals federal, state and local resources to locate, apprehend and prosecute individuals who sexually exploit children, and to identify and rescue victims. For more information about Project Safe Childhood, please visit www.usdoj.gov/psc. For more information about internet safety education, please visit www.usdoj.gov/psc and click on the tab "resources."