LAS VEGAS – The former head softball coach at Silverado High School in Henderson, Nev., was sentenced Monday to 284 months in federal prison and lifetime supervised release for having sexual relations with one of the team’s female players and photographing the acts with his cell phone camera.
In April, Albert Silva Hernandez, Jr., 44, of Las Vegas, was convicted of eight counts of sexual exploitation of a minor, following an investigation by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) and the Clark County School District.
According to the indictment and evidence introduced at trial, Hernandez, who also coached a club softball team, engaged in sexual relations with one of his 17-year-old female players, photographed the acts, and sent the images to the young girl. Hernandez also had the girl photograph herself naked and send those images to him using her cell phone. The pornographic images were produced and text messages exchanged between Hernandez and the victim Dec. 25, 2011, Jan. 29, Feb. 1, and Feb. 2, 2012.
"Together with our investigative partners, we have been aggressively investigating and prosecuting persons who exploit minors for sexual purposes and use technology to further victimize these children," said Nevada U.S. Attorney Daniel G. Bogden. "If you commit such crimes, you face very serious consequences and a lengthy prison sentence."
"As this sentence makes unmistakably clear, child sex predators will receive the justice they are due for their despicable actions," said Michael Harris, assistant special agent in charge of HSI Las Vegas. "We will continue to aggressively target those who prey upon and sexually exploit our children. We owe it to the young victims in these cases, who will carry the emotional and physical scars of these crimes for the rest of their lives."
The investigation was part of Operation Predator, a nationwide HSI initiative to protect children from sexual predators, including those who travel overseas for sex with minors, Internet child pornographers, criminal alien sex offenders and child sex traffickers. HSI encourages the public to report suspected child predators and any suspicious activity through its toll-free hotline at 1-866-347-2423 or by completing its online tip form. Both are staffed around the clock by investigators.
Suspected child sexual exploitation or missing children may be reported to the National Center for Missing & Exploited Children, an Operation Predator partner, via its toll-free 24-hour hotline, 1-800-843-5678.
HSI is a founding member and current chair of the Virtual Global Taskforce, an international alliance of law enforcement agencies and private industry sector partners working together to prevent and deter online child sexual abuse.