SAN FRANCISCO – LAWFUEL – The Law Newswire – United States Attorney Scott N. Schools announced that John Aicega pleaded guilty today to receipt and distribution of child pornography over the internet. This guilty plea is the result of an investigation by United States Immigration and Customs Enforcement.
Mr. Aicega, 56, of Rohnert Park, was charged by information on May 25, 2007. He was charged with one count of receipt and distribution of child pornography in violation of Title 18, United States Code, Section 2252A(a)(2)(B). In pleading guilty, defendant Aicega admitted to downloading and receiving hundreds of images of child pornography over the internet. Using his home computer, the defendant both received and distributed material containing visual depictions of minors engaged in sexually explicit conduct, including, but not limited to, minors engaged in sexual intercourse as well as the lascivious exhibition of the genitals and pubic areas of minors. The defendant also admitted to knowing that some of the images involved the use of prepubescent minors and minors under the age of twelve.
This investigation and prosecution are part of the Justice Department’s Project Safe Childhood, a national initiative launched last year by the U.S. Department of Justice aimed at combining federal, state, and local law enforcement resources to bring more online child exploitation prosecutions and to educate the public about the dangers that the internet poses to children.
The sentencing of defendant Aicega is scheduled for September 14, 2007, before Judge Illston in San Francisco. The defendant was remanded to the custody of the U.S. Marshals after entering the guilty plea. The maximum statutory penalty for each count in violation of Title 18, United States Code, Section 2252A(a)(2)(B) is twenty years imprisonment and a fine of $250,000, plus restitution if appropriate. The statute to which the defendant pleaded guilty requires a mandatory minimum sentence of at least five years imprisonment. Sentence will be imposed by the district court only after consideration of the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines and the federal statute governing the imposition of a sentence, Title 18, United States Code, Section 3553.
Keslie Stewart is the Assistant U.S. Attorney who is prosecuting the case with the assistance of Margaret Glyer. The prosecution is the result of an ongoing investigation by United States Immigration and Customs Enforcement.