CHICAGO — A federal judge in Chicago sentenced a Mexican citizen Thursday to 40 years in prison on child pornography charges after a prosecutor told of how the 36-year-old had emotionally "scarred" two girls he abused and videotaped.
One of the girls Edgar Hernandez molested when she 15 spoke at the sentencing, as did a relative of the other victim — who was 7 when Hernandez molested her. Both told of how Hernandez had traumatized the girls by what he had done.
A federal prosecutor echoed that.
"The defendant scarred the victims for life," Assistant U.S. Attorney John Kness told the hearing.
Hernandez lived in Chicago in 2009 when the younger victim was entrusted to his care. He molested her around a dozen times, and used his cellphone to make video recordings of the abuse, a Thursday statement from the U.S. attorney's office in Chicago said. After the initial police report, investigators had discovered similar abuse of the older girl.
After a relative of the 7-year-old went to Chicago police in 2009, Hernandez fled to Mexico, taking the 15-year-old girl with him. She was reunited with her family in 2010, and Hernandez was arrested in Mexico in 2013. He was extradited to Chicago later that year.
Earlier this year, Hernandez pleaded guilty to one count each of manufacturing child pornography and possessing child pornography. Under federal rules, he must serve at least 85 percent of the sentence imposed Thursday by U.S. District Judge Samuel Der-Yeghiayan.