Tampa, Florida – A federal grand jury has returned an indictment charging Hugo Espinosa Chavez (58, Tampa) with the production and possession of child sex abuse materials as well as foreign travel to engage in illicit sexual conduct with a minor child. If convicted on all counts, Espinosa faces a maximum penalty of life in federal prison. On October 5, 2021, Espinosa made his initial appearance in Tampa and was ordered detained pending trial.
According to the indictment, from May until December 2020, Espinosa employed, used, persuaded, induced, enticed, and coerced a minor victim to produce depictions of the minor engaging in sexually explicit conduct. Moreover, on December 12, 2020, Espinosa traveled from the United States to the Republic of Colombia for the purpose of engaging in illicit sexual conduct with this minor.
An indictment is merely a formal charge that a defendant has committed one or more violations of federal criminal law, and every defendant is presumed innocent unless, and until, proven guilty.
This case was investigated by Homeland Security Investigations in Tampa, with substantial assistance from HSI Bogota, the Colombian National Police, the Department of Justice’s Office of International Affairs, and the Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office. It is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Erin Claire Favorit.
This is another case brought as part of Project Safe Childhood, a nationwide initiative launched in May 2006 by the Department of Justice to combat the growing epidemic of child sexual exploitation and abuse. Led by the United States Attorneys’ Offices and the Criminal Division’s Child Exploitation and Obscenity Section, Project Safe Childhood marshals federal, state, and local resources to locate, apprehend, and prosecute individuals who sexually exploit children, and to identify and rescue victims. For more information about Project Safe Childhood, please visit www.justice.gov/psc.
Making sure that victims of federal crimes are treated with compassion, fairness and respect.