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An El Salvador man residing in Sioux City who sexually assaulted a child was sentenced July 28, 2022, to 30 years in federal prison following a Homeland Security Investigations (HSI), Sioux City Police joint investigation.

Juan Pablo Hernandez, age 44, originally from El Salvador but living in Sioux City, received the prison term after a March 10, 2022, guilty plea to aggravated sexual abuse of a child.

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“I struggle to find something more important than protecting the children in our community,” said HSI Special Agent in Charge of the Kansas City area of responsibility Katherine Greer. “I’m 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 in Sioux City by United States District Court Chief Judge Leonard T. Strand.  Hernandez was sentenced to 360 months’ imprisonment.  He must also serve a 5-year term of supervised release after the prison term.  There is no parole in the federal system.

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.  For more information about Project Safe Childhood, please visit www.usdoj.gov/psc.  For more information about internet safety education, please visit www.usdoj.gov/psc and click on the tab “resources.”

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 Homeland Security Investigations and was prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Ron Timmons.

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