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SPOKANE - A Moses Lake man has been sentenced to 20 years in federal prison in a 2018 investigation into child pornography.

Juan Rivera, 47, pleaded guilty in October to conspiracy to produce child pornography. He was sentenced to 240 months behind bars followed by a lifetime of court supervision after he is released. He is also required to register as a sex offender and ordered to pay $48,000 in restitution to the victim. Federal court officials say Rivera is a citizen of Mexico who had been removed from the U.S. in 2003 and 2009.

According to court information, law enforcement became aware of Rivera’s conduct in late 2018 when the California Division of Child Services opened a package containing an anonymous letter. The letter indicated a woman in California had sent pornographic images of her minor daughter to Rivera, who was living in Moses Lake.

The letter included an electronic storage device containing still images and videos of child pornography depicting the woman’s daughter, who was 11 years old. Further investigation showed Rivera and the woman had previously lived together with her daughter in Moses Lake. After the woman and her daughter moved, Rivera solicited explicit and “very specific sexual images” of the girl, which her mother recorded and sent to Rivera, according to court records. The woman has admitted to exploiting her daughter and was convicted and sentenced in California.

Several search warrants were later executed at Rivera’s Moses Lake home and multiple digital devices containing his communications with the victim’s mother were found, along with multiple images and videos of child pornography.

“Today’s sentencing hearing brings to a close a terrible child sex abuse tragedy perpetrated by Rivera and the victim’s own mother,” U.S. Attorney William D. Hyslop stated. “I sincerely hope that the child-victim is able to gain a sense of resolution as she moves forward in her life.”