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Man who taped molestations, sold images sentenced to 25 years

March 19, 2013 | 11:31 am

Photo: Peter Ruiz. Credit: United States attorney's officeAn Inland Empire man described by federal prosecutors as a "ruthless predator" was sentenced Tuesday to 25 years in federal prison in connection with charges that he molested at least three children, photographed the abuse and sold those images over the Internet to pedophiles.

Four months after he pleaded guilty to production of child pornography, U.S. District Court Judge Virginia A. Phillips sentenced Peter Ruiz, 33, of San Bernardino, to the federal prison term.

Federal prosecutors alleged that in 2009 and 2010, Ruiz repeatedly molested a boy who lived in an apartment near Ruiz's home. According to prosecutors, Ruiz documented the abuse with photographs and videos, which he distributed to pedophiles, sometimes in exchange for money.

The FBI used a warrant to examine Ruiz’s computer on Halloween in 2010, and discovered more than 6,000 images and 600 videos of child pornography, which included images of Ruiz molesting the then-12-year-old victim.

Ruiz sexually abused two other boys, who were 9 and 10 when they were assaulted, and in each case he "groomed" them using small gifts and access to video games, according to prosecutors.

“Ruiz sexually abused at least three children, nearly destroying them and their families in the process,” federal prosecutors wrote in a document filed in relation to Tuesday's sentencing hearing.

Prosecutors wrote in their sentencing memo that Ruiz “appears to show no remorse for his crimes.”

Ruiz maintains a “brazen and nonchalant attitude toward his abuse of children ... bragg[ing] about these sexual exploits to a fellow inmate,” prosecutors wrote.

Ruiz developed a pattern of “grooming his victim[s], professing his love for them and eventually intimidating them into keeping silent,” prosecutors said in the sentencing documents.

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— Richard Winton

Photo: Peter Ruiz. Credit: United States attorney's office.

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