Federal agents arrested Steve Jackson Rodriguez, 37, on Aug. 25, 2021, on multiple child pornography charges. IoS stock image and US Immigration and Customs Enforcement photograph.
Authorities need the public’s help identifying potential child sexual abuse victims in California.
Images involving at least three young girls are tied to an email account that belonged to Steve Jackson Rodriguez, 37, a Pomona man arrested last month at a Southern California group home for severely disabled children. On Wednesday, a federal grand jury indicted Rodriguez on multiple counts of making child pornography.
“We think that there might be other victims because of all the various places he’s worked over the years,” US Immigration and Customs Enforcement spokesperson Lori K. Haley told Coffee or Die Magazine.
Federal agents say Rodriguez worked at a string of group homes and psychiatric care facilities as a certified nursing assistant.
Haley urged anyone with information to call Homeland Security Investigations at 866-347-2423.
Considered a danger to the community, Rodriguez is being held without bond. His criminal defense attorney didn’t return messages from Coffee or Die seeking comment.
This man, Steve Jackson Rodriguez, was indicted today on charges of filming the sexual abuse of children at an Inland Empire group home. If you have any information about potential victims in this matter, please call the Homeland Security Investigations at (866) 347-2423. pic.twitter.com/uO5nJNMmqu
— US Attorney L.A. (@USAO_LosAngeles) September 8, 2021
Rodriguez’s case began in Los Angeles on July 12, when Homeland Security Investigations Special Agent Derek R. Baker received a message from the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children.
A tip identified a Google user, stevoevil22, who allegedly uploaded child pornography files.
Google later terminated the account, which was created by a “Steve Rodriguez” and linked to the suspect’s cell phone number.
Armed with a search warrant, agents found videos stored online that appeared to show Rodriguez performing oral sex on an 8-year-old girl who had a colostomy bag attached to her abdomen, according to legal filings.
The Google account also seemed to “contain additional images showing Rodriguez engaged in additional sexual conduct with minors,” the criminal complaint stated.
One image apparently depicted an unidentified white girl between 5 and 7 years old being raped.
Another allegedly showed male genitals touching the face of a different white girl, approximately 4 to 6 years old, according to a search warrant application.
On Aug. 25, agents searched Rodriguez’s San Bernardino Avenue home in Pomona and his 2017 blue Honda Civic automobile, which was parked at his workplace, College Hospital in Cerritos.
During an interview in the parking lot, Rodriguez allegedly identified the first child in the illicit videos by name and told agents, “She is safe.”
They arrested Rodriguez, who’s described in the criminal complaint as a “mental health worker” at the semi-secure facility.
Rodriguez is approximately 5 feet 8 inches tall and weighs 158 pounds, according to California Department of Motor Vehicle records. State records show he had lived in Pomona for three years before he was arrested.
Rodriguez will be arraigned in Los Angeles on Sept. 16. If convicted, he faces a mandatory minimum sentence of 15 years in federal prison for each of the child pornography counts. The maximum sentence is life.
Carl Prine is a former senior editor at Coffee or Die Magazine. He has worked at Navy Times, The San Diego Union-Tribune, and Pittsburgh Tribune-Review. He served in the Marine Corps and the Pennsylvania Army National Guard. His awards include the Joseph Galloway Award for Distinguished Reporting on the military, a first prize from Investigative Reporters & Editors, and the Combat Infantryman Badge.
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