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Medford man gets prison for child pornography

A Medford man will serve more than five years in prison for possessing and sharing child pornography in a home he shared with small children.

Jose David Valdez-Baldenegro was sentenced Tuesday in U.S. District Court in Eugene for his possession of more than 100 child pornography files in 2018 and 2019, and sharing illicit files, including with an undercover federal agent.

The investigation into Valdez began in October 2018 after he posted images in an online chatroom that included a sexually explicit photo of an underage girl and an explicit meme involving a pacifier that “championed the sexual abuse of babies,” according to a document filed last week by Assistant U.S. Attorney Adam Delph.

“He traded images of children being raped like baseball cards,” Delph wrote Dec. 10.

Search warrants served on the messaging app and internet service provider showed explicit files uploaded from a Medford apartment in the 700 block of Highland Drive, where Valdez-Baldenegro lived with two children and their mother.

During a May 31, 2019, search at the apartment, police found more than 100 “images of child sexual exploitation” on Valdez-Baldenegro’s iPhone, and 29 photos and 15 videos on his laptop, according to Delph and an affidavit.

The National Center for Missing and Exploited Children were able to link 16 known series of child pornography from Valdez-Baldenegro’s files, Delph states.

Valdez-Baldenegro pleaded guilty to distributing child pornography in July, court records show.

Federal public defender Brian Butler, who represented Valdez-Baldenegro, stated ahead of sentencing that his client has stopped accessing or sharing child pornography since his arrest, has “readily admitted his conduct” and has undergone counseling related to a pornography addiction.

On Tuesday, U.S. District Court Judge Michael McShane sentenced Valdez-Baldenegro to 70 months in prison, according to an email from U.S. Attorneys Office spokesperson Kevin Sonoff.

Court records show that the nearly six-year sentence falls between the 60 months Butler sought and the 97 months Delph sought.

Reach reporter Nick Morgan at 541-776-4471 or nmorgan@rosebudmedia.com. Follow him on Twitter @MTCrimeBeat.