LAS VEGAS, Nev. – A Las Vegas man who repeatedly played the game of “truth or dare” with an autistic girl to entice her to send him sexually explicit photos was sentenced to eight years in federal prison to be followed by lifetime supervised release, announced U.S. Attorney District Nicholas A. Trutanich for the District of Nevada.
“The defendant in this case exploited a vulnerable victim with special needs,” said U.S. Attorney Trutanich. “The Department of Justice’s Project Safe Childhood initiative brings together a network of law enforcement partners to protect children from those who would exploit their vulnerabilities and my office will continue to support the cause of keeping children in Nevada safe.”
Fredy Hernandez-Gomez, 32, previously pleaded guilty to receipt of child pornography before U.S. District Judge Kent J. Dawson.
Hernandez-Gomez admitted that in April 2017, he began exchanging text messages with his friend’s autistic 13-year-old girl daughter. He and the girl would “dare” each other to do various things and he used the “dares” to induce her to comply and to reduce the risk that she would tell her parents. On May 5, 2017, he texted the girl to send him photos of herself telling her to “be daring,” and “don’t be shy.” They continued to exchange sexually explicit text messages. When the girl sent sexually explicit photos of herself, Hernandez-Gomez texted “I like them” and then “Erase it.” The girl’s parents subsequently discovered the text messages and made a report to the police. During an interview with law enforcement, Hernandez-Gomez admitted to sending the victim text messages and asking her to send him sexually explicit photos of herself. Hernandez-Gomez admitted to receiving the sexually explicit photos he requested.
During the investigation, the minor victim reported that Hernandez-Gomez also sexually abused her. Hernandez-Gomez subsequently was charged with and pleaded guilty in Clark County District Court to one count of attempted sexual assault. On January 3, 2019, Hernandez-Gomez was sentenced in connection with that case to eight to 20 years in prison.
The case was investigated by the FBI and the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department. Assistant U.S. Attorney Christopher Burton prosecuted the case.
If you have information regarding possible child sexual exploitation, you are urged to make a report to the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children at www.cybertipline.org.
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 U.S. Attorneys’ Offices and the Criminal Division’s Child Exploitation and Obscenity Section, 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 and for information about internet safety education, please visit www.justice.gov/psc.