A Pasco man with a history of preying on teen girls through Facebook will spend 20 years in federal prison for having naked pictures of the minors on his cellphone.
Sergio Magana Jr., 26, told the girls they were sexy and encouraged them to send pictures showing their body.
His persistent text messages came after he befriended the young teens through the social media site and got their phone numbers.
A jury in November convicted Magana of both production and receipt of child pornography. He was indicted in federal court two months after a Franklin County judge ordered him to serve a one-year, two-month prison term for raping one of the girls.
That Superior Court case was the second one involving the rape of a teen he met through Facebook. His first, in 2012, was dismissed after a year because the Irrigon girl — who had claimed the sex was consensual — could not be located for trial.
Magana was sentenced Wednesday in U.S. District Court in Yakima by Judge Sal Mendoza Jr.
Mendoza also imposed a lifetime term of supervised release and sex offender registration.
“Predators who view pornographic images of children fuel the disturbing actions of like-minded criminals who create the illegal content,” Brad Bench, special agent in charge for Homeland Security Investigations in Seattle, said in a prepared news release.
“Both rob the innocence of their victims and leave permanent scars that can never be entirely healed.”
Bench added that the lengthy sentence for Magana is a testament to the dedicated agents and law enforcement partners “who aggressively hunt down these abusive pedophiles and bring them out of the shadows to ensure they receive the judgment they deserve.”
Joseph H. Harrington, Acting U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of Washington, commended the Pasco Police Department, the Southeast Regional Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force and Homeland Security Investigations.
It was while investigating a girl’s 2014 rape allegation that Pasco detectives learned Magana had nude photographs of girls on his phone, along with text messages asking for the sexually explicit pictures, court documents show.
Magana initially denied having pictures of girls, saying police would only find adult women, then said he “maybe” had child porn but he couldn’t remember where it came from, documents said.
His conviction for third-degree rape of a child involved giving a ride home to the girl he met on Facebook, then watching the house until he saw her father leave. He knocked on the front door and, when the girl answered, forced his way in, locked the door behind him and told her to be quiet as he put his hands over her mouth, court documents said.
After raping the girl, he made threats that she should not mention his name, deleted his number from her cellphone and forced her to take a shower after she turned down his request to start a romantic relationship, documents said.
When Magana found out police were looking at him, he claimed to have information on a recent homicide in an attempt to make the rape allegations go away.
He had no known criminal convictions before the Franklin County case.