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A former Mission High School substitute teacher will serve a decade in federal prison for coercion and enticement of a minor.
Edgar Aaron Hernandez, 31, of Mission, pleaded guilty to the charges on March 31, according to a news release from the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of Texas.
A 13-year-old girl reported that between April 1 through April 4 of 2022 she’d sent nude images through the social media platform, Snapchat, to a man in Texas named Edgar who claimed to be 17 years old. He’d reportedly threatened to share the images if the girl did not send him more nude images, the release said.
Investigators were able to identify the IP address and trace it to a Mission residence associated with Hernandez.
Authorities made contact with Hernandez on Dec. 5, 2022 at Mission High School, where he was employed as a substitute teacher. He admitted to using Snapchat to solicit sexually explicit images and videos from the 13-year-old girl and threatening her when she refused to send additional photos and videos.
“Hernandez further admitted to soliciting nude images and videos over the last two years from other minor children,” the news release read. “If they refused, he threatened to expose them to their family and friends. Some of the minors told Hernandez they would commit suicide or harm themselves if he exposed them. Hernandez admitted that this did not bother him and would block the victim before seeking additional victims to coerce images from.”
According to the news release, approximately 1,000 videos and images of child exploitation materials were discovered on Hernandez’s Dropbox, Mega and Snapchat accounts.
U.S. District Judge Randy Crane sentenced Hernandez to 10 years in prison. He was also ordered to pay $3,000 in restitution to a known victim. He will serve seven years of supervised release following completion of his prison term, at which time he will have to comply with numerous requirements designed to restrict his access to children and the internet.
“We leave our children with teachers on a daily basis because we trust them,” U.S. Attorney Alamdar S. Hamdani said in the release. “Hernandez breached that trust when he used his experience with children to abuse and exploit them. He extorted our most vulnerable to get what he wanted with no regard for their well-being or how his actions would affect them.
“But, thankfully, with this sentence, justice has forced this predator to exchange one piece of clothing for another; a teacher’s cape for an orange prison jumpsuit.”
Hernandez will also be ordered to register as a sex offender.