A Texas man received the maximum sentence for child pornography Thursday after initially blaming West Nile virus for his actions.
Irving Jose Marquez, 30, was sentenced to 20 years in prison and a lifetime of supervised release after he pleaded guilty to a federal charge of receipt and distribution of a visual depiction involving sexual exploitation of a minor.
Marquez’s lawyer had asked the judge to give his client the minimum sentence of five years, but the judge declined.
Marquez’s lawyer John Calhoun, had argued that he had contracted the West Nile virus in 2009 and the brain damage he received from it made him sexually aggressive.
“It wasn’t him who did it, he didn’t ask for West Nile,” Calhoun told the judge during the sentencing, according to the newspaper. “Because of the mental and emotional conditions of Mr. Marquez, he deserves a variance of the 20 years …The government is asking for 20 years, we are asking for five years and extensive supervised release.”
A judge argued that the sentence was what’s needed to “protect the public.”
U.S. Homeland Security investigators were tipped off in 2017 about possible child pornography on a Flickr account under Marquez’s name. Investigators found hundreds of illicit images and videos of young girls he knew on multiple electronic devices owned by Marquez, according to El Paso Times.
Prosecutors said Marquez was “entirely responsible” for setting up a camera at a mall restroom.
Man in child porn case who claimed brain damage from West Nile made him sexually aggressive sentenced
A Texas man who claimed the West Nile virus gave him brain damage will spend 20 years behind bars for distributing child pornography, according to a report.