A 59-year-old local resident has been ordered to serve the rest of his life in federal prison following convictions for several child exploitation offenses including foreign travel to engage in illicit sexual conduct with three minors, announced U.S. Attorney Jennifer B. Lowery.
A federal jury convicted Edward Sanchez July 26, 2021, following a week-long trial and approximately 10 hours of deliberation.
Today, U.S. Nelva Gonzales Ramos handed Sanchez life sentence. Sanchez will also be ordered to register as a sex offender. At the hearing, the court heard evidence of his attempts to solicit and coerce additional schoolmates of the victims as well as testimony from a mental health professional regarding the effects of his actions. In imposing the sentence, Judge Ramos noted Sanchez’s complete lack of remorse for his actions.
At trial, evidence showed Sanchez had traveled to the Philippines where he posed as a benefactor to a school. However, he ultimately sought sexual relationships with students. The jury heard from three minor victims who testified about his activities, which included requests for pornographic images. These were later used to extort the children into meeting for sexual encounters, some unprotected, in the Philippines. Sanchez often provided victims with “morning after pills” to prevent conception.
The jury also heard about and viewed social media messages detailing Sanchez’s attempts to arrange access to the child victim’s family members to another adult male for sex. During their deliberations, the jury poured through thousands of pages of social media messages detailing his exploitation of the victims.
The defense attempted to convince the jury his conduct was lawful by Filipino standards and that United States laws were racist. The jury did not believe those claims, ultimately finding Sanchez had sexually exploited three minor children between March 5, 2016, and Nov. 21, 2018, in the Philippines and while in the United States using social media.
Sanchez has been and will remain in custody pending transfer to a U.S. Bureau of Prisons facility to be determined in the near future.
Corpus Christi Police Department’s Internet Crimes Against Children Unit along with the Homeland Security Investigations conducted the investigation.
Assistant U.S. Attorneys Brittany L. Jensen and Dennis Robinson prosecuted the case.