A San Antonio man was sentenced to five years in prison after he pled guilty today to promotion of child pornography in the 437th Judicial District Court, Judge Melisa Skinner presiding.
Jason Chavez, 29, was arrested in November 2020 after a tip from the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children reported that a Facebook user uploaded child sexual abuse material to another user. Despite initially claiming that his devices had been hacked and compromised recently, investigators were able to tie Chavez directly to e-mail accounts and internet activity linking him to the distribution of child sexual abuse material through Facebook. Chavez ultimately admitted to downloading, viewing, and eventually distributing child pornography to at least two other individuals through a Facebook Messenger application. Those other individuals are being investigated by local authorities in their respective jurisdictions.
“While most of us use social media to catch up with our family and friends by sharing our lawful activities, predators like this use it to trade images and videos of children being abused. As this defendant and the people he was illegally interacting with have learned, when social media is exploited for wrongdoing it will not go without detection. I am proud of the work our office continues to do to protect children from people like this,” said District Attorney Joe Gonzales.
This case was prosecuted by Christian Neumann of the Public Integrity and Cyber Crime Division. It was investigated by the Child Exploitation Unit of the Texas Attorney General’s Office’s Southern Internet Crimes Against Children Taskforce.
“Today’s sentence should remind everyone in the community that even commonly used platforms such as Facebook can be exploited for purposes of distributing child sexual abuse material. The Public Integrity and Cyber Crime Division would not be able to pursue these sexually violent offenders without the assistance of our partners at the Child Exploitation unit of the Texas Attorney General’s Office, but their work relies heavily on the reporting of any suspicious activity involving this type of sexual abuse material. Adults in our community need to remain vigilant in monitoring the activities of our children online to ensure none of them fall prey to someone like Mr. Chavez,” said Neumann.
Upon his release from prison, Chavez will have to register as a sex offender for life.