A Kearney man pleaded guilty in federal court Friday to producing and possessing child pornography. Austin Hurtado, 19, admitted to owning almost 200 child pornography videos, as well as 80 still images. After seizing his computers, authorities found numerous videos of an 8-year-old in the shower, with Hurtado’s face visible in at least one image. Under today’s plea agreement, Hurtado must pay at least $6,000 in restitution to two of his victims. A presentence investigation is underway and he will receive his full sentence at at a later date.
Press Release from the Office of the U.S. District Attorney for Western Missouri
KANSAS CITY, Mo. – Tammy Dickinson, United States Attorney for the Western District of Missouri, announced that a Kearney, Mo., man pleaded guilty in federal court today to producing and possessing child pornography.
Austin D. Hurtado, 19, of Kearney, pleaded guilty before U.S. Chief District Judge Fernando J. Gaitan to the charges contained in a June 27, 2012 federal indictment.
According to today’s plea agreement, an FBI agent identified Hurtado’s computer (at his former residence in Smithville, Mo.) as sharing child pornography over the Internet. Using a peer-to-peer file-sharing program, the agent downloaded images of child pornography from Hurtado’s computer on Nov. 21 and 22, 2011.
Hurtado’s two laptop computers were seized by law enforcement officers and a forensic examiner found they contained numerous videos of an 8-year-old child in the shower. Hurtado’s face was visible in at least one of those videos. The forensic examiner also found the same child victim in additional numerous photos and videos of child pornography. Hurtado possessed 191 child pornography videos and more than 80 images of child pornography.
Hurtado is subject to a mandatory minimum sentence of 15 years in federal prison without parole, up to a sentence of 40 years in federal prison without parole, plus a fine up to $500,000. Under the terms of today’s plea agreement, Hurtado must pay a total of $10,000 in restitution to two of the victims portrayed in those images and movies, or $6,000 if he pays the restitution within 30 days of his sentencing date. A sentencing hearing will be scheduled after the completion of a presentence investigation by the United States Probation Office.
This case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Teresa Moore. It was investigated by the FBI.
Project Safe Childhood
This case was brought as part of Project Safe Childhood, a nationwide initiative launched in May 2006 by the Department of Justice to combat the growing epidemic of child sexual exploitation and abuse. Led by the United States Attorneys’ Offices and the Criminal Division’s Child Exploitation and Obscenity Section, Project Safe Childhood marshals federal, state, and local resources to locate, apprehend, and prosecute individuals who sexually exploit children, and to identify and rescue victims. For more information about Project Safe Childhood, please visit www.usdoj.gov/psc . For more information about Internet safety education, please visit www.usdoj.gov/psc and click on the tab “resources.”