Volunteer youth leader sentenced for sending obscene photos to a minor

Volunteer youth leader sentenced for sending obscene photos to a minor
David Cantu, 23, of Lubbock

LUBBOCK, TX (KCBD) - The man who pleaded guilty to sending obscene photos to a minor has been sentenced to 27 months in prison followed by three years of supervised release by a Lubbock judge on Friday.

David Samuel Augustus Cantu, 23, of Lubbock, was convicted of attempting to persuade or entice a girl under 16-years-old. That girl was a member of the youth group that Cantu volunteered to lead.

According to the original criminal complaint, in August of 2018, Lubbock police were contacted by a witness who was concerned about a relationship between the witness’ relative, who is a 15-year-old girl, and Cantu. The witness identified Cantu as a volunteer at an unnamed church where the victim was a member. He was spotted by the witness driving around the victim’s home and parking on her street.

The victim spoke to the witness about beginning a sexual relationship with Cantu at church camp over the course of several days in the first week of July 2018. A search warrant was executed for Cantu’s cell phone that yielded a number of text messages, photos and videos indicating an intense sexual relationship. The series of messages mentioned in the criminal complaint extend from July 24 until August 13, and remain consistent with the victim’s admission to Cantu’s sexual pursuit of her, as well as Cantu repeatedly meeting her at her home.

On multiple occasions, texts from the victim show her ethical struggle with the relationship as she repeatedly asks Cantu if he believed they should be engaging sexually. Cantu’s answers indicate he knew he was breaking the law. In one instance, when asked directly if he thought their relationship felt wrong, Cantu replied blatantly, “No... it doesn’t...”

The victim tried to end the relationship after that, but Cantu continued to pursue her by sending explicit photos. After the witness came forward to police, Cantu was arrested and in November of 2018, he pleaded guilty to the charge of transferring obscene material to a minor. As part of his plea agreement, Cantu will have to register as a sex offender.

He is currently held in the Terry County Jail.

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