LOS ANGELES - A certified nursing assistant who worked at a Southern California group home for severely disabled patients was indicted today for multiple child exploitation crimes, including filming himself sexually abusing children at the group home facility.
A federal grand jury today charged Steve Jackson Rodriguez, 37, of Pomona, in a six-count indictment that includes four counts alleging he produced child pornography.
Rodriguez, who was arrested pursuant to a criminal complaint on August 25, is scheduled to be arraigned on the indictment on September 16. Following the arraignment in Los Angeles, the case will move to a federal judge in Riverside.
The indictment alleges Rodriguez produced child pornography with three minor victims, two of whom were severely disabled patients being housed at an Inland Empire group home that employed Rodriguez. One of the disabled victims was 8 years old when Rodriguez filmed the illegal sexual conduct.
The indictment charges Rodriguez with filming his sexual encounters with another minor victim, whom Rodriguez enticed into engaging in sex and lewd acts.
Special agents with Homeland Security Investigations are investigating this matter and have reason to believe that Rodriguez may have had illegal sexual conduct with other victims during his employment at group homes and psychiatric care facilities where he has worked as a certified nursing assistant. If you have any information about potential victims in this matter, please call the HSI tip line at (866) 347-2423.
An indictment contains allegations that a defendant has committed a crime. Every defendant is presumed innocent until and unless proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt.
If convicted of the charges in the indictment, Rodriguez would face a statutory maximum penalty of life in federal prison. He also would face a mandatory minimum sentence of 15 years in federal prison for each of the four counts alleging the production of child pornography.
The ongoing investigation in this case is being conducted by HSI as part of the Los Angeles Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force (ICAC). The investigation began in July when the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children provided information to ICAC.
Assistant United States Attorney Scott M. Lara of the Violent and Organized Crime Section is prosecuting this case.