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Sonora Man Arraigned In Federal Court For Child Pornography

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Fresno, CA – A Tuolumne County man is facing charges in federal court involving the sexual exploitation of minors.

On Wednesday, the U.S. Attorney McGregor Scott of the Eastern District of California Office reported that 37-year-old Jonathan James Rodriguez of Sonora was arraigned Tuesday on charges of receiving and distributing child pornography materials.

As reported here back in January, Rodriguez was taken into custody by Tuolumne County deputies following a month-long investigation although few details were available at the time. The FBI partnered with the sheriff’s office on the continuing investigation.

According to court documents, between January 2014 and January 2020, the suspect used a laptop computer to receive and distribute a visual depiction of a minor engaged in sexually explicit conduct.

Scott adds that anyone with information related to this investigation or who believes they may be a victim can contact the FBI at Assistant U.S. Attorney Laura D. Withers is prosecuting the case against Rodriguez who, if convicted, faces a maximum statutory penalty of 20 years in prison.

This case was brought as part of Project Safe Childhood, a nationwide initiative launched in May 2006 by the Department of Justice to combat what its officials described as a 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 those who sexually exploit children, and to identify and rescue victims.

For more details about Project Safe Childhood, click here. Under the “Resources” tab the organization provides information about internet safety education.