Today is Tuesday, September 19, 2017

Illegal alien sentenced to 50 years for child pornography

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Edwin Velasquez Curuchiche, 40, of Guatemala, who formerly lived in Lebanon, was sentenced Friday by United States District Court Judge Waverly Crenshaw to 50 years in prison, for two counts of production of child pornography.

Curuchiche was indicted on the charges on August 24, 2016, and pleaded guilty on Feb. 21, 2017.

"The defendant's conduct here is among the most egregious that I have ever seen," said Acting U.S. Attorney Jack Smith. "It is almost unimaginable that an innocent child and her family were subjected to such horrific acts by an intruder who masked himself as a family friend. The sentence ultimately imposed by the Court should insure that the defendant never has another opportunity to victimize another child."

According to court documents, Curuchiche lived in a Lebanon trailer park and, in 2015, he befriended a family who lived nearby. During the course of several months, Curuchiche established a relationship with the family and their three children, which included a nine-year-old boy, a six-year-old girl and an infant. Curuchiche gave them video gaming systems and other electronic devices, taught them how to play the games and offered to play with them with their father was not home.

In September 2015, Curuchiche used a ruse to trick the mother into letting him borrow her house key, after which he copied the key without her knowledge before returning it to her. Also in 2015, he learned that the six-year-old daughter was running a fever and took a bag of medicine to the mother and encouraged her to give the child an adult dose of Valium. The parents of the child did not give the medication to their daughter, and Curuchiche later attempted to pay the girl's nine-year-old brother to give her the medication.

On Sept. 23, 2015, Curuchiche snuck into the family's home during the night and recorded himself sexually molesting the six-year-old girl while she slept. Again, on Oct. 1, Curuchiche snuck into the home and recorded additional videos.

In late October, the six-year-old child awoke during the night and went to her parent's bedroom crying that someone had been touching her while she slept. One of her parents checked her bedroom and finding nothing, they assumed the child was imagining things.

On the evening of Oct. 29, 2015, the family returned to their home after a trip to the store. After entering the home, the daughter went to her bedroom to get a toy. Curuchiche was hiding under the bed and tried to grab her by the arm and quiet her by telling her to play a game on a cell phone, which he had previously given to her. The girl ran to her parents, and the father found Curuchiche hiding in his daughter's bedroom closet, where he held him until police arrived and took him into custody.

Court documents also show that Curuchiche was apprehended in June 2013 when he unlawfully entered the U.S. He subsequently failed to appear for an immigration hearing and was living in the country unlawfully when he committed this offense.

The matter was investigated by Homeland Security Investigations and the Lebanon Police Department. The United States was represented by Assistant U.S. Attorney S. Carran Daughtrey.

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