OAKLAND – Sergio Luiz Cruz Esparza was charged with distribution of child pornography in a criminal complaint, announced United States Attorney David L. Anderson and Homeland Security Investigations Special Agent in Charge Tatum King. Cruz Esparza appeared in federal court today in San Francisco for a detention hearing in the matter before the Honorable U.S. Magistrate Judge Sallie Kim, who detained Cruz Esparza pending trial.
According to an affidavit filed in connection with the complaint, Cruz Esparza, 22, of Bay Point, is alleged to have distributed images of child pornography using social media mobile applications. The affidavit alleges that at least one of the images depicted a minor female committing a sexual act on Cruz Esparza. The affidavit also describes that Cruz Esparza transmitted links to an online cloud storage site to other individuals, one of whom was a law enforcement agent acting in an undercover capacity. Those links led to videos depicting sexually explicit conduct by adult males inflicted on minor females as young as 4 years old.
Cruz Esparza is currently detained, and his next scheduled appearance is at 10:30 a.m on July 29, 2020, for a status conference and preliminary hearing before Magistrate Judge Kim.
A complaint merely alleges that crimes have been committed, and all defendants are presumed innocent until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt. If convicted, Cruz Esparza faces maximum penalties of 20 years imprisonment with a minimum imprisonment term of 5 years, a life term of supervised release with a minimum supervised release term of 5 years, and a maximum fine of $250,000. However, any sentence following conviction would be imposed by the court after consideration of the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines and the federal statute governing the imposition of a sentence, 18 U.S.C. § 3553.
Jonathan U. Lee is the Assistant U.S. Attorney who is prosecuting the case with the assistance of Jessica Gonzalez Rodriguez and Kathleen Turner. The prosecution is the result of an investigation by the Department of Homeland Security, Homeland Security Investigations, and the Silicon Valley Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force.