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  1. Homeland Security Investigations (HSI)
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  3. Southeast Texas Man Sentenced to 30 Years for Fondling Minor, Producing Child Sexual Abuse Material

Southeast Texas Man Sentenced to 30 Years for Fondling Minor, Producing Child Sexual Abuse Material Following HSI Houston Investigation

Release Date: May 31, 2024

HOUSTON — A Houston-area man has been sentenced to 30 years in federal prison for sexually exploiting a child and possessing child sexual abuse material following an investigation by Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) Houston.

James Aubrey Zachary Wasson, a 39-year-old resident of Montgomery County, was sentenced in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Texas to 360 months and 120 months, respectively, for the sexual exploitation of minors and production of child sexual abuse material. The sentences will run concurrently for a total of 30 years in federal prison. Wasson was further ordered to pay $29,000 in restitution to multiple victims and will serve 10 years on supervised release following completion of his prison term. During that time, he will have to comply with numerous requirements designed to restrict his access to children and the internet. Wasson will also be ordered to register as a sex offender.

Wasson pleaded guilty to the charges on Sept. 27, 2023.

“Over the course of two years, this child predator uploaded more than 500 files of child sexual abuse materials to the internet, including over 50 files of himself sexually exploiting a minor victim,” said HSI Houston Special Agent in Charge Mark Dawson. “Thanks to the selfless bravery of one of his victims, who worked with investigators to confirm his identity, we were able to obtain his conviction and ensure he is held accountable for his heinous actions.”

Authorities identified Wasson after discovering more than 500 files of child sexual abuse material he had uploaded between March 2019 and March 2021. One folder contained a series of 51 photographs, all taken on a single date in December 2020. Some showed him in a state of sexual arousal next to a minor female child. He also appeared to be fondling her under her clothing.

A subsequent search of Wasson’s cellphone confirmed it was the device he used to produce the series of sexually explicit photographs. The cell phone also contained other files of child sexual abuse material taken between May 2020 and May 2021.

The minor victim also identified Wasson and recalled when he took the photographs.

Wasson will remain in custody pending transfer to a U.S. Bureau of Prisons facility to be determined in the near future.

The Montgomery County District Attorney’s Office assisted with the investigation. Assistant U.S. Attorney Stephanie Bauman prosecuted the case.

For more news and information on HSI’s efforts to aggressively investigate child exploitation in Southeast Texas follow us on X, formerly known as Twitter, at @HSIHouston.

Last Updated: 05/31/2024
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