SAN ANTONIO – A San Antonio man was sentenced last week to 190 months in prison for distribution of child sexual abuse material.
According to court documents, on July 30, 2020, a federal search warrant was executed on the residence of Juan Rafael Benavidez, 64. Benavidez’s cellphone was seized and after forensic analysis, approximately 37,657 images and four videos of child sexual abuse material were found.
On January 13, 2022, Benavidez pleaded guilty to one count of distribution of child pornography. Benavidez has remained in federal custody since his arrest on July 30, 2020.
“Predators do not care about the damage they do to the innocent victims of these reprehensible crimes,” said U.S. Attorney Ashley C. Hoff. “Holding these offenders accountable for the harm they cause and protecting our communities is a top priority for our office. I am proud of the work we do, and the work of our law enforcement partners to combat these crimes.”
“The FBI will continue to work tirelessly with all our law enforcement partners to protect vulnerable children from abuse and exploitation,” said Oliver E. Rich Jr., Special Agent in Charge, FBI San Antonio. “Juan Benavides will now be held accountable for his heinous crimes and will spend the next 15 years of his life in prison.”
The FBI investigated the case.
Assistant U.S. Attorney Tracy Thompson 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. For more information about Project Safe Childhood, please visit www.justice.gov/psc.