Crime

Fort Worth child porn suspect to remain in federal custody

A 28-year-old man who told investigators that he sexually abused more than 100 children and possessed about 42,000 images of child pornography is expected to remain in federal custody until his trial, authorities said.

Randy Ray Wesson waived his right to a detention hearing that had been scheduled for Tuesday and consented for U.S. Magistrate Judge Jeffrey Cureton to make a detention decision based on the pretrial services report and the complaint against him, court documents say.

Cureton is expected to sign an order to hold Wesson in federal detention until his trial, a court spokeswoman said.

Wesson was arrested by Hurst police Nov. 18 at his home on Davis Drive in Fort Worth, an arrest warrant affidavit says. He told officers, who were investigating a tip on Internet child porn about the sexual abuse of children ages 7 to 14 and identified 12 children by name, according to the affidavit.

Also arrested was a 17-year-old who had pretended to be 12 so he could attend a Hurst elementary school and possibly recruit young victims, the affidavit says. The Hurst-Euless-Bedford school district notified parents of the arrests Nov. 21 after learning that the 17-year-old, who lived with Wesson, had been enrolled in Hurst Hills Elementary School since the beginning of the 2014-15 academic year.

Hurst police said Wesson falsified a birth certificate to get Ricardo Javid Lugo, 17, enrolled in the sixth grade under the fictitious name “Matthew Drew Wesson.”

Lugo was in the Tarrant County Jail on Wednesday facing a charge of possession with the intent to promote child pornography, according to records filed in the Tarrant County district clerk’s office. Bail is $250,000, jail records say.

A sexual abuse training seminar designed to empower adults to better protect children has been scheduled for this evening at Hurst Hills Elementary in response to the arrest, school district spokeswoman Judy Ramos said.

The video-based training will be led by a trainer specially trained person from Alliance for Children and will use survivors of sexual abuse and other professionals to assist adults interested in protecting children.

This report includes material from the Star-Telegram archives.

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