Saturday, October 24, 2020

Former elementary teacher admits to explicit sexual conversations originating via Craigslist

 CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas – A 27-year-old Odom man has entered a guilty plea to transferring obscene materials to a minor, announced U.S. Attorney Ryan K. Patrick.

Lazaro Benito Rocha admitted today that he had responded to an ad on Craigslist advertising a “good time” with a teenage girl. He continued communicating with whom he thought was a 14-year-old female which soon escalated into conversations of an explicit sexual nature via text messaging.  

Using his cell phone, Rocha eventually sent a photograph of his genitals.

The investigation revealed he was a part-time elementary music teacher at the Incarnate Word Academy in Corpus Christi.

U.S. District Judge David S. Morales will impose sentencing Jan. 25, 2021. At that time, Rocha faces up to 10 years in federal prison as well as a possible $250,000 maximum fine.

The Corpus Christi Police Department’s Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force, Texas Department of Public Safety and Immigration and Custom’s Enforcement’s Homeland Security Investigations conducted the investigation.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Sara Popejoy is prosecuting the case, which was brought as part of Project Safe Childhood (PSC), a nationwide initiative the Department of Justice (DOJ) launched in May 2006 to combat the growing epidemic of child sexual exploitation and abuse. U.S. Attorneys' Offices and the Criminal Division's Child Exploitation and Obscenity Section leads PSC, which marshals federal, state and local resources to locate, apprehend and prosecute individuals who sexually exploit children and identifies and rescues victims. For more information about PSC, please visit DOJ’s PSC page. For more information about internet safety education, please visit the resources tab on that page.  

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