Man who posed as female on social networking site indicted by grand jury
ENNIS – A federal grand jury indicted Ennis resident Jerry Wayne Valek,35, on three counts of child pornography on Thursday, Feb.10 according to U.S. Attorney James T. Jacks of the Northern District of Texas.
Valek, a 94’ Ennis High School Graduate , has been in federal custody since his arrest on Thursday, Jan. 13.
According to the indictment, complaint and testimony from the detention hearing from Sept. 18, 2008, to Dec. 14, 2010, Valek, using the name of “Jessica Villerra,” and representing himself on his Facebook profile to be a 25-year-old Dallas resident, enticed three young men, under the age of 18, to send sexually explicit images of themselves to him.
The “Jessica Villera” Facebook account had more than 450 registered “friends,” a majority of which were male minors that Facebook indicates are current high school students according to a statement released by the U.S. Department of Justice.
The case is being investigated by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) and the Decatur, Texas, Police Department.
An indictment is an accusation by a federal grand jury and a defendant is entitled to the presumption of innocence unless proven guilty.
If convicted, Valek faces a maximum statutory sentence, for each count, of not less than 15 or more than 30 years in prison, a lifetime of supervised release and a $250,000 fine.
Anyone having information they wish to provide law enforcement concerning the charged crime should contact ICE at 866-347-2423.
This case was brought as part of Project Safe Childhood, a nationwide initiative launched in May 2006 by the Department of Justice, to combat the growing epidemic of child sexual exploitation and abuse. Led by U.S. Attorneys’ Offices and the Criminal Division’s Child Exploitation and Obscenity Section (CEOS), Project Safe Childhood marshals federal, state and local resources to better locate, apprehend and prosecute individuals who exploit children via the Internet, as well as to identify and rescue victims.
Assistant U.S. Attorney Jason D. Schall is in charge of the prosecution.