A Washington judge has sentenced a former soldier, who was accused of child rape and pleaded guilty to creating child porn, to 20 years behind bars, as reported by KHQ.
42-year-old Luis Alberto Morales, who formerly served at Joint Base Lewis-McChord, pleaded guilty to a charge of producing child pornography in May. This plea was made in exchange for a charge of aggravated sexual abuse of a minor to be dropped, according to the News Tribune.
Morales’ estranged wife found the incriminating videos, which show the former soldier raping her 2-year-old child, on his cell phone in August 2016 and immediately showed them to Army Military Police, prompting his imediate arrest.
The child, who is autistic, was sexually assaulted while the toddler’s mother was in the hospital for an unknown reason, authorities have indicated. That means Morales waited until he was alone with the child in order to strike, a fact that did not go unnoticed by prosecuting attorneys.
“This is a horrific crime – words are inadequate to describe the harm done by this defendant,” U.S. Attorney Annette Hayes said in a news release.
Morales has remained in federal custody as the case wound its way through the court system. In addition to serving 20 years behind bars, U.S. District Judge Robert Bryan also sentenced the 42-year-old to lifetime supervision after he is released. He must also register as a sex offender. The victim and her mother remain anonymous, given the horrific nature of the crime and the age of the victim.
[Featured Image: Joint Base Lewis-McChord]