The following is a press release issued by the U.S. Attorney's Office for the Western District of Texas on Wednesday, August 24, 2022.
SAN ANTONIO – A former schoolteacher with the Southside Independent School District was sentenced yesterday to 240 months in prison on child pornography charges.
According to court documents, a search warrant was executed at the residence of Mark Anthony Rodriguez, 56, of San Antonio. During the search, three devices were found that contained approximately 4,700 images and 384 videos of child pornography.
At the conclusion of a bench trial on December 12, 2019, U.S. District Judge Fred Biery found Rodriguez guilty of one count of distribution of child pornography; one count of receipt of child pornography; and three counts of possession of child pornography. In addition to the prison sentence, Rodriguez was ordered to pay $70,000 in restitution to fourteen separate victims.
“During his sentencing, Rodriguez acknowledged that his job was to be a protector, not a predator, of children,” said Executive Assistant U.S. Attorney Kristy Callahan. “He failed. The justice system has now held him accountable. We are proud of the work our office and law enforcement partners do to combat this blight on our communities.”
“HSI San Antonio, remains committed in identifying individuals distributing child pornography on the internet,” said Acting Special Agent in Charge Craig Larrabee. “Identifying and investigating those who prey on our most vulnerable population, especially those individuals that hold positions of public trust, remains a top priority for HSI. Today’s sentence sends a clear message that there will be severe consequences for those who exploit children in anyway and HSI will continue to dedicate our resources to identify these individuals and bring them to justice”
HSI investigated the case.
Assistant U.S. Attorney Tracy Thompson prosecuted the case.
This case was brought as part of Project Safe Childhood, a nationwide initiative to combat the growing epidemic of child sexual exploitation and abuse launched in May 2006 by the Department of Justice. Led by U.S. Attorneys’ Offices and CEOS, Project Safe Childhood marshals federal, state and local resources to better locate, apprehend and prosecute individuals who exploit children via the Internet, as well as to identify and rescue victims. For more information about Project Safe Childhood, please visit www.justice.gov/psc.