COURT

An anonymous tip to a national hotline led to the arrest and prosecution of Christopher and Sarah Rashelle Almaguer, of Killeen, who pleaded guilty Tuesday to federal child exploitation charges, according to criminal complaints in the case.

According to a complaint filed in the U.S. Western District Court in Waco, Sarah Almaguer, 27, and husband Christopher Almaguer, 26, were arrested Feb. 26 outside of their home in the 1100 block of North Fourth Street in Killeen as part of an investigation into multiple Facebook videos sent to the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children Cyber Tipline.

Sgt. Dara Bowlin with the Child Exploitation Unit of the Texas Attorney General’s Criminal Investigation Division said in a federal complaint against Sarah Almaguer that the state found 15 child pornography videos uploaded on Facebook in December 2017, with one of the videos showing Sarah Almaguer sexual assaulting a female infant.

All of the videos were uploaded by Sarah Almaguer, the complaint read.

A federal indictment said the Almaguers were arrested Feb. 26 on charges of coercing minors into sexually explicit behavior and recording it on “materials mailed, shipped or transported in interstate or foreign commerce.” A subsequent search of their home revealed a couch that was similar to the one seen in at least two of the videos, the indictment read.

The Almaguers were indicted March 13 on four counts of coercing a minor to engage in sexually explicit conduct and possessing child pornography by a federal grand jury.

On Tuesday, the Almaguers pleaded guilty to one count of sexual exploitation of children and one count of production of child pornography, according to officials of the U.S. Attorney’s office in Waco.

Both face a mandatory minimum term of 15 years up to 30 years in federal prison on each count.

According to court records, investigators compiled a list of approximately 25 potential minor child victims, ranging in age from infants to 14, from the Central Texas area, according to the U.S. Attorney’s office.

Assistant U.S. District Attorney Gregory Gloff, who prosecuted the case on behalf of the federal government, could not be reached for comment Wednesday.

The Almaguers have remained in custody since their arrests.

Sentencing has been scheduled before U.S. District Judge Alan D. Albright for Jan. 29, 2019.

kyleb@kdhnews.com | 254-501-7567

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