Texas

Girl helped friend keep up Snapchat ‘streak’ — and found homemade child porn, Texas cops say

A Lufkin, Texas, 18-year-old has been sentenced to 40 years in prison after pleading guilty to sexually assaulting a young girl and storing images of it on Snapchat, prosecutors say.
A Lufkin, Texas, 18-year-old has been sentenced to 40 years in prison after pleading guilty to sexually assaulting a young girl and storing images of it on Snapchat, prosecutors say. Angelina County Jail

A Texas teenager gave his friend the information to log into his Snapchat account last year — and what she found got him a 40-year prison sentence Tuesday, prosecutors say.

Oscar Alamillo Solis, then 17, had given the 15-year-old girl his password so she could help him keep a Snapchat “streak” going, she told police.

“Streaks” on the photo- and video-swapping app start to build up when users send each other Snaps every day. But failing to send a message for a single day can end a hard-earned “streak” that’s been going on for weeks, months or even years.

The 15-year-old friend logged into Solis’ Snapchat account during the last period of the day at her suburban Dallas high school in February 2017 and happened to open his private “memories” section, she told police. That’s where she discovered something disturbing: Still photos and videos of a male sexually assaulting a little girl had been saved to the account — and it looked like the abuser was Solis, according to a police report. The victim was just 6 years old, police said.

The 15-year-old girl — who had met Solis over social media — reported the videos and images to police after school, court records said. Then police in Lufkin, Texas, went to Solis' high school around noon March 2 to interview him. Solis confessed that he’d assaulted the girl and recorded footage the abuse, saving it to his Snapchat account, according to police.

Solis was arrested and taken to the Angelina County Jail. Several days after his arrest, Solis was released on $100,000 bail, KTRE reports.

On Tuesday, a judge sentenced Solis to 40 years in prison after he pleaded guilty to possession of child pornography and aggravated sexual assault of a child, according to court records. Solis is now 18, and his plea means he has no right to appeal.

His attorney pointed to a previously spotless record in requesting probation for Solis, saying that “there’s no evidence that there’s any other victims” and “no evidence he groomed the victim when he did the terrible things he did,” according to the Lufkin Daily News.

But Angelina County prosecutors rejected the idea of probation as a punishment in the case.

“Probation is not appropriate in this case,” Assistant District Attorney Ken Dies told the judge, according to the Lufkin Daily News. “The destruction he has wrought leaves no other option. The number of years I leave to your experience.”

Lufkin police had compared Solis’ driver’s license picture with images from his Snapchat account to confirm he was the person using it, court records said. Detectives learned from Solis that the assault happened in December 2016.

The young abuse victim is scared to be anywhere without her mother and requires counseling after the sexual assault, her mother said. The girl requires so much additional care that the mother had to quit school, the Lufkin Daily News reports.

Nearly every day, Angelina County authorities look into a case of sexual assault against children, according to Dies. There were a total of 270 cases investigated in the county in 2017 alone, he said.

That's led some who work in local law enforcement to call Angelina County the “Bermuda Triangle of Sexual Assault,” Dies said.

Dies added that he thinks the judge's sentence for Solis was fitting.

The measure of a community is best shown by the manner in which its members choose to protect and defend its most vulnerable and innocent of its citizens: its children,Dies said in a statement to McClatchy.

Child abuse is something that unfortunately pediatricians and emergency room physicians are always on the lookout for, but parents need to know the warning signs of physical abuse too, especially when their children are left in the care of others.

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