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Child Exploitation

Federal grand jury indicts Ennis, Texas, man on child pornography charges

Defendant posed as a young woman on Facebook to convince boys to send him sexually explicit photos of themselves

DALLAS - A federal grand jury has indicted a man from Ennis, Texas, on three counts of producing child pornography, announced U.S. Attorney James T. Jacks of the Northern District of Texas.

According to the indictment, complaint and testimony from the detention hearing, from Sept. 18, 2008 to Dec. 14, 2010, Jerry Wayne Valek, 35, using the name of "Jessica Villerra," and representing himself on his Facebook profile to be a 25-year-old Dallas resident, enticed three young men, under the age of 18, to send him sexually explicit images of themselves. The "Jessica Villerra" Facebook account has more than 450 registered "friends," a majority of which are boys that Facebook indicates are current high school students.

Valek has been in federal custody since his Jan. 13 arrest on a related charge.

An indictment is an accusation by a federal grand jury and a defendant is entitled to the presumption of innocence unless proven guilty. However, if convicted, Valek faces a maximum statutory sentence for each count of not less than 15 or more than 30 years in prison, a lifetime of supervised release, and a $250,000 fine.

The case is being investigated by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement's (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) and the Decatur, Texas, Police Department.

Anyone having information they wish to provide law enforcement concerning the charged crime should contact ICE-HSI at 866-347-2423.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Jason D. Schall, Northern District of Texas, is prosecuting this case.

This investigation is part of Operation Predator, a nationwide ICE 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.

ICE encourages the public to report suspected child predators and any suspicious activity through its toll-free hotline at 1-866-DHS-2ICE. This hotline is staffed around the clock by investigators.

Suspected child sexual exploitation or missing children may be reported to the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children, an Operation Predator partner, at 1-800-843-5678 or http://www.cybertipline.com.