Ricardo Javid Lugo, age 17, posed as a 12-year-old in order to enroll as a sixth grader at an elementary school in Texas. Lugo has been arrested on child pornography charges, along with a 28-year-old man who posed as Lugo’s dad and may be responsible for luring Lugo into the deception, according to police.
Randy Ray Wesson, the man who was arrested along with Lugo, “also admitted to sexually abusing over 100 children between the ages of 17 to 14 years of age,” according to a report by WFAA. Wesson also admitted that he had lured Lugo, who was an American citizen living in Mexico, to live with him in the U.S. through social media last March.
It was Wesson who forged the paperwork that allowed Lugo to become a sixth-grade student for more than three months at Hurst Hills Elementary. Local parents are shocked and disturbed that an alleged child pornographer was allowed entry into the school.
Parent Danny Scott told CBS News, “I don’t understand how the documents could have been forged to the point where, ya know, no one in the school could figure it out. Obviously, I’m shocked.”
He, along with many other parents within the school district, have many unanswered questions.
“Is this one bad person that got into the school or is there more to this? Are there more kids involved? How widespread is this? Who did this child, this 17-year-old kid, who did he influence?”
Local police were tipped off to the alleged crimes by the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children. The police raided Wesson’s home, which he shared with Lugo in Fort Worth earlier this week, where they seized what they describe as a “large amount of evidence of child pornography and exploitation of children.”
The arrest affidavit for Wesson shows Wesson admitting to having a total of 42,000 images of child pornography stored on his computer and other storage devices.
Although district officials for the school say they don’t know if any of the seized pornography included a child from Hurst Hills Elementary, according to WFAA, the affidavit indicates that “at least one video found on Lugo’s phone shows him spanking a child seen in other pictures from the school.” And local police officials feel certain that “there will be child victims from our region.”
Hurst Hills Elementary school released a statement, saying, “Hurst Hills staff followed all procedures regarding enrollment when the student was enrolled in August. There was no indication the records were forged or he was too old to attend elementary school. The student’s behavior at school also did not raise any concerns.”
Although the school denies any wrong-doing, those are small words of comfort for the parents of the children who were exposed to Lugo, and, through Lugo, to Wesson.
Perhaps the most frightening aspect of child pornography is how pervasive it is; last March, a wealthy socialite grandmother was sentenced to 14 years because of child pornography. And there was a mom convicted of producing pornographic videos of her own children. It’s just unfortunate that more child pornography cases don’t end with a conviction and prison sentence of 2,300 years, like this one did.
[Image via www.nbcdfw.com]