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August 3, 2022Sioux City, IA, United StatesChild Exploitation

HSI, Sioux City police department investigation results in 30-year sentence for child predator

SIOUX CITY, Iowa – A Salvadoran man who sexually assaulted a child was sentenced July 28 to 30 years in federal prison following a joint Homeland Security Investigations (HSI), Sioux City Police investigation. Juan Pablo Hernandez, 44, originally from El Salvador but living in Sioux City, received the prison term after a March 10 guilty plea for aggravated sexual abuse of a child.

“I struggle to find something more important than protecting the children in our community,” said Katherine Greer, special agent in charge of HSI Kansas City. “I am extremely proud of the work by the agents and officers from both HSI and the Sioux City Police Department. Through our strong partnership we are to bring justice to victims and remove dangerous individuals, like this, looking to harm children from our streets.”

At the plea hearing, Hernandez admitted to driving from South Sioux City, Nebraska to Sioux City with a minor under the age of 12 to sexually assault the minor. Hernandez took sexually explicit photographs of the minor.

Hernandez was sentenced to 360 months’ imprisonment by United States District Court Chief Judge Leonard T. Strand. He must also serve a 5-year term of supervised release after the prison term. There is no parole in the federal system.

Project Safe Childhood

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 the United States Attorneys' Offices and the Criminal Division's Child Exploitation and Obscenity Section, Project Safe Childhood marshals federal, state, and local resources to locate, apprehend, and prosecute individuals who sexually exploit children, and to identify and rescue victims.

Hernandez is being held in the United States Marshal’s custody until he can be transported to a federal prison.

The case was investigated by the Sioux City Police Department and HSI and was prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Ron Timmons. Court file information at https://ecf.iand.uscourts.gov/cgi-bin/login.pl. The case file number is 21-4093.

Learn more about HSI’s mission to combat child exploitation in your community, on Twitter @HSIKansasCity.

Homeland Security Investigations

HSI is the principal investigative arm of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS), responsible for investigating transnational crime and threats, specifically those criminal organizations that exploit the global infrastructure through which international trade, travel, and finance move. HSI’s workforce of over 10,400 employees consists of more than 6,800 special agents assigned to 225 cities throughout the United States, and 86 overseas locations in 55 countries. HSI’s international presence represents DHS’s largest investigative law enforcement presence abroad and one of the largest international footprints in U.S. law enforcement.

Updated: 08/03/2022