A 37-year-old El Paso County man, scheduled to be sentenced next week after pleading guilty to multiple charges of sexual assault on a child, has been indicted by a federal grand jury on charges of sexual exploitation of children and distribution and possession of child pornography.
Kenneth Wayne Hugo, who most recently lived in the Claremont Ranch neighborhood outside Colorado Springs, was in a Denver courtroom this week for a hearing related to the federal charges.
He'll remain in the custody of federal marshals until next week's sentencing on the sexual assault charges, which had been brought by the 4th Judicial District Attorney's Office.
According to the U.S. Attorney's Office, the District Attorney's Office, the federal indictment and court records:
- An investigation by law enforcement revealed Hugo allegedly had been involved in trading child pornography over the Internet. Jeff Dorschner, a U.S. Attorney's Office spokesman, said he couldn't provide additional details about the investigation.
- On Jan. 23, the FBI and El Paso County Sheriff's Office served a warrant on Hugo's residence, where they found more than 8,000 images of child pornography on Hugo's computer and other media. A laptop computer, desktop computer and an external hard drive were seized. During the investigation, agents and deputies also found images of child pornography that Hugo allegedly created, which included taking pictures of himself while fondling girls under the age of 12.
- After the search warrant was served, Hugo was arrested. He was charged by the District Attorney's Office with three felony counts of sexual assault on a child by a person in a position of trust. Court records indicate the alleged assaults date to June 2011.
Hugo pleaded guilty June 18, and is set for sentencing Tuesday; he has been in custody since his arrest, said Lee Richards, a District Attorney's spokeswoman. Hugo faces a minimum of four years but could be imprisoned for life on the charges, she said; he also could get probation that would run from 20 years to life.
- The sexual assault charges triggered federal involvement, and the U.S. Attorney's Office took the case to a grand jury.
On Aug. 6, Hugo was indicted on one count of sexual exploitation of children, two counts of distribution of child pornography and one count of possession of child pornography; the indictment states the incidents took place in May, August and December of last year. Hugo was ordered held without bond Monday by U.S. Magistrate Judge Michael E. Hegarty.
Hugo faces 15 to 30 years in federal prison on the sexual exploitation charge; five to 20 years on the child pornography distribution charges; and up to 10 years on the child pornography possession charge. Each count also carries a fine of up to $250,000.
"Those who produce child pornography, victimizing children for others' enjoyment, belong in federal prison," U.S. Attorney John Walsh said in a news release.
"By producing child pornography images, the children the defendant allegedly victimized will be harmed for the rest of their life."
- Federal marshals will return Hugo to Colorado Springs next week for his sentencing, Richards said.
Contact Rich Laden: 636-0228