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  1. Homeland Security Investigations (HSI)
  2. News Room
  3. Former West Texas Substitute Teacher Sentenced to 30 Years for Producing Child Sexual Abuse Material

Former West Texas Substitute Teacher Sentenced to 30 Years for Producing Child Sexual Abuse Material Following HSI El Paso Investigation

Release Date: May 29, 2024

ALPINE, Texas — A Marfa woman was sentenced in a federal court in Alpine to 360 months in prison for production of child pornography.

Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) Alpine, an office of HSI El Paso, investigated the case with assistance from the FBI, the Texas Department of Public Safety and the Marfa Police Department.

According to court documents, investigators found that Sonya Conchita Murillo, 33, a former substitute teacher for the Marfa Independent School District, possessed child sexual abuse material, including videos depicting Murillo sexually abusing a prepubescent child. She was arrested June 7, 2023, and pleaded guilty to one count of production of child pornography in January 2024.

Murillo’s former boyfriend, Patricio Javier Serrano, was sentenced in March to 97 months in prison for one count of possession of child pornography and one count of transportation of child pornography, aiding and abetting. Serrano had been charged in a separate indictment and pleaded guilty on Oct. 27, 2023.

“Homeland Security Investigations aggressively pursues child predators, and cases involving people in positions of trust are particularly disturbing. In this case, the punishment is fitting of the crime," said HSI El Paso acting Special Agent in Charge Eric McLoughlin. “Today we are once again reminded of the need for constant vigilance — online and in our schools — to protect the most vulnerable among us."

Assistant U.S. Attorneys Amy Greenbaum and Kevin Cayton prosecuted the case.

This case was brought as part of Project Safe Childhood, a nationwide initiative to combat the growing epidemic of child sexual exploitation and abuse launched in May 2006 by the Department of Justice. Led by U.S. attorneys’ offices and CEOS, Project Safe Childhood marshals federal, state and local resources to better locate, apprehend and prosecute individuals who exploit children via the internet, as well as to identify and rescue victims.

Last Updated: 05/29/2024
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