Woman gets 40-year prison sentence for sexually exploiting a toddler following HSI Houston investigation
HOUSTON — A judge ordered a Houston woman to serve 40 years in federal prison Aug. 2 for multiple child sexual abuse material-related convictions and for sexually exploiting a toddler following an investigation by Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) Houston.
Elexis Kiera Sidney, 29, was sentenced in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Texas to serve a total of 480 months in federal prison for the sexual exploitation of a child, distributing child pornography, receipt of child pornography and possession of child pornography. Sidney was sentenced to 360 months for the sexual exploitation conviction and 120 months for each of the child sexual abuse material-related convictions. The child sexual abuse material convictions will run concurrently for a total of 120 months in prison. The sexual exploitation of a child conviction will run consecutively with the other convictions for an overall total of 480 months in federal prison.
The judge also ordered Sidney to pay $18,000 in restitution to the victims and she will serve the rest of her life on supervised release after completing her prison term. During that time, she must comply with numerous requirements designed to restrict her access to children. Sidney will also be required to register as a sex offender. She pleaded guilty to the charges on May 24, 2022.
Sidney first came to law enforcement authorities’ attention in December 2018 when authorities observed her posting sexually explicit material involving children in a private Kik chat group. After posting an image of herself naked in the bathroom, she then posted a video of herself again in the same situation. However, this time, a nude, prepubescent child approximately two years of age was with her while she was touching herself. Other videos included the minor and Sidney touching each other in a sexual manner.
On Dec. 10, 2018, authorities went to Sidney’s residence, where she admitted to creating the videos and utilizing the Kik account. A forensic examination of her electronic devices and online storage account revealed she had been distributing and receiving child sexual abuse material in the Kik chat group since November 2018. Authorities also found images and videos of Sidney sexually abusing the same minor victim, as well as two images of a three-year-old minor relative. Additionally, law enforcement found approximately 100 images and 120 videos of child pornography during the search.
During the hearing, the court heard from the mother of a three-year-old relative that Sidney had recorded herself sexually abusing. The woman detailed how she felt betrayed by what Sidney did to her daughter when she was supposed to be babysitting her. The court also heard how Sidney has had a strong interest in children since she was 10 years old. In handing down the sentence, the court noted that a psychological evaluation of Sidney concluded that she was at an average to high risk to reoffend.
Sidney will remain in custody pending transfer to a U.S. Bureau of Prisons facility to be determined in the near future.
For more news and information on HSI’s efforts to aggressively investigate child exploitation and child pornography in Southeast Texas follow us on Twitter @HSIHouston.
HSI encourages the public to report suspected child predators and any suspicious activity through its toll-free Tip Line at 866-347-2423. The tipline is staffed around the clock by investigators. From outside the U.S. and Canada, callers should dial 802-872-6199. Hearing impaired users can call TTY 802-872-6196.
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 more than 8,700 employees consists of more than 6,000 special agents assigned to 237 cities throughout the United States, and 93 overseas locations in 56 countries. HSI’s international presence represents DHS’ largest investigative law enforcement presence abroad and one of the largest international footprints in U.S. law enforcement.