Award-winning composer gets 15 years for making child porn video - WBTV 3 News, Weather, Sports, and Traffic for Charlotte, NC

Award-winning composer gets 15 years for making child porn videos

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BERKELEY COUNTY, SC (WCSC) -

A 61-year-old Ladson man, who has won awards for his music work on Sesame Street, received 15 years in prison for taking nude pictures and videos of a 4-year-old child.

Fernando Rivas was sentenced in federal court on Wednesday for production and transportation of child pornography. Rivas wrote music for television, radio, film and theater, and won Emmys in 1995 and 1996 for his work on Sesame Street. He also worked as a jazz music instructor at Porter-Gaud from 2002 and 2009.

Evidence presented in court stated that Rivas came to the attention of the FBI when a cooperating defendant in a child exploitation case in New Jersey told authorities that he was receiving child porn from a person in South Carolina, who he later identified as Rivas.

According to the cooperating defendant, he and Rivas traded child pornography through email for several years.

The FBI in New Jersey issued subpoenas which identified Rivas' address as the source of the emails between Rivas and the cooperating defendant. Based on this information, a search warrant was executed at Rivas' home in Ladson on April 19, 2011.

Authorities say Rivas confessed to possessing, transporting and producing child pornography. According to investigators, Rivas admitted to taking nude pictures and videos of a 4-year-old child.

A statement released by U.S. Attorney Bill Nettles stated that the images "depict the lascivious exhibition of the genital and pubic area of the child and constitute child pornography under 18 U.S.C. 2256."

A forensic examination of Rivas' computers and cameras was conducted by the FBI in which more than 2,000 images and 12 videos of child pornography involving prepubescent minors were found.

Copyright 2013 WCSC. All rights reserved. The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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