CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas – A 29-year-old Corpus Christi man has been sentenced to federal prison following his conviction of distribution of child pornography, announced U.S. Attorney Ryan K. Patrick. Parker J. Pendergraph pleaded guilty March 26, 2018.
Today, visiting U.S. Circuit Judge Gregg J. Costa sentenced Pendergraph to 60 months in federal prison. Pendergraph was further ordered to serve eight years on supervised release following completion of his prison term, during which time he will have to comply with numerous requirements designed to restrict his access to children and the internet. Pendergraph will also be ordered to register as a sex offender.
In November 2017, an electronic chat room company notified the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children (NCMEC) that a known image of child pornography had been uploaded to an internet chat room. Authorities were able to link the specific IP address associated with a user known as “jack” to Parker J. Pendergraph.
Law enforcement determined Pendergraph was employed as an assistant band director for a local high school and middle school and obtained a search warrant for his residence. At that time, authorities seized several digital devices that led to the discovery of the known image of child pornography uploaded to the chat room. In addition, law enforcement also located more than 500 images and 390 images of child erotica.
The image uploaded to the chat room was located on one of Pendergraph’s digital devices. The image depicted a minor female approximately 14 years of age that is nude and sitting on a chair with her knees bent exposing her vagina to the camera. Pendergraph was shown the image, after which he admitted to uploading it.
Pendergraph also acknowledged going to chat sites and wanting to trade pictures of nude girls. He further stated he had seen images of child pornography on his computer for almost a year.
Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s Homeland Security Investigations and Corpus Christi Police Department’s – Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force conducted the investigation with the assistance of NCMEC.
Assistant U.S. Attorney Hugo R. Martinez is prosecuting the case, which was 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.usdoj.gov/psc. For more information about internet safety education, please visit www.usdoj.gov/psc and click on the tab "resources."