24-Year-Old Man Indicted After Asking 13-Year-Old Relative to Produce Child Pornography - KCBD NewsChannel 11 Lubbock

7/12/06

24-Year-Old Man Indicted After Asking 13-Year-Old Relative to Produce Child Pornography

A 13-year-old Lubbock girl is now the victim of an online predator. 24-year-old Joshua Heath Zuniga is accused of enticing the young girl to send pornographic images of herself over the Internet. On Wednesday, he was indicted by a federal grand jury on several counts of child pornography. NewsChannel 11's Jennifer Vogel has learned the victim was related to the predator. 

A child alone online could become a parent's worst nightmare. That nightmare came true for one Lubbock family after a father found pornographic images of his 13-year-old daughter on her computer. To make it worse, the parents learned those images were sent to a relative living in Frisco, Texas.

In June 2005, the victim met 23-year-old Joshua Heath Zuniga on a family vacation to Mexico. They began talking on the phone, and shortly after, the two met again. This time, they got physical. In her own testimony, the young girl said "...(they) kissed and touched each other on a number of occasions." 

A few months later, Zuniga and the 8th grade girl had sex. And on that same visit, Zuniga gave the girl a computer, and web cam. The FBI report says, "Zuniga asked 'Jane Doe' to use her web cam to take sexually explicit videos and pictures of herself and send them to him. Zuniga asked 'Jane Doe' to be creative producing the videos and images."  She did as she was told, but said in the FBI report that Zuniga and her were in love, and he never forced her to do anything she didn't want to.

A month later, December 2005, the child's father accidentally found the images.

Zuniga has since been arrested, charged and indicted on several counts of child enticement and child pornography.

Zuniga is out on bond, and has returned to Frisco. The courts have ordered that he does not use a computer, and that he shows up to all court dates.

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