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Sunday, July 21, 2024 | Back issues
Courthouse News Service Courthouse News Service

Texas Santa Busted on Kiddie Porn Charges

CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas (CN) - A Texan who's played Santa Claus for 15 years was charged Friday with distributing child pornography.

Reynaldo Ramirez, 37, of Corpus Christi, is accused of downloading more than 1,000 pornographic images of children from toddlers to pre-teens. If convicted, he could be sentenced to 20 years in federal prison.

An Internet crimes task force raided his home after authorities downloaded files from an IP address associated with him, prosecutors said.

In addition to finding evidence that he distributed child pornography via peer-to-peer software, "authorities located a Santa Claus costume in Ramirez's residence," the U.S. Attorney's Office said. "When questioned about the outfit, Ramirez stated he had performed as Santa Claus for the past 15 years throughout the South Texas area."

Ramirez is in state custody, awaiting transfer to federal authorities.

He could also be fined $250,000 if convicted.

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