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Moses Lake man sentenced to 20 years for child porn

by CHARLES H. FEATHERSTONE
Staff Writer | January 19, 2021 1:00 AM

SPOKANE — A Moses Lake man has been sentenced to 20 years in prison for possession of child pornography, according to a statement released Friday by the U.S. Attorney’s Office.

Juan Rivera, 47, pleaded guilty in October 2020 to conspiracy to produce child pornography, after Rivera persuaded the mother of an 11-year-old girl to send him sexually explicit images and videos of the girl. Rivera and the woman lived together in Moses Lake for a time, but he solicited the images after she and her daughter moved to California, according to the U.S. Attorney.

Police were made aware of Rivera’s actions in late 2018, after the California Division of Child Services in Tehama County, California, received an anonymous letter informing them of Rivera’s activities.

Under the plea agreement he made with prosecutors, Rivera must register as a sex offender upon release, will be monitored for the rest of his life, and pay his victim $48,000 in restitution. The mother also admitted to “exploiting her daughter” and has been convicted and sentenced by California authorities, the U.S. Attorney’s Office said.

“Today’s sentencing hearing brings to a close a terrible child sex abuse tragedy perpetrated by Rivera and the victim’s own mother,” said William D. Hyslop, U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of Washington, in the release. “I sincerely hope that the child-victim is able to gain a sense of resolution as she moves forward with her life.”

The U.S. Attorney’s Office said Rivera was prosecuted as part of Project Safe Childhood, an ongoing U.S. Department of Justice campaign initiated in 2006 to combat “the growing epidemic of child sexual exploitation.”

Charles H. Featherstone can be reached at cfeatherstone@columbiabasinherald.com.