POSTED: Thursday, January 12, 2012 - 8:09pm
UPDATED: Saturday, January 14, 2012 - 10:53am
Victims and Defense Attorney React
EL PASO - He got the maximum sentence; the former El Paso teacher who admitted to secretly videotaping hundreds of El Paso students to create his child porn collection learned his fate today in court.
A federal judge sentenced Marco Alferez to 50 years in prison. One of his victims and her mother said they now hope to move forward.
"There's no justice for a crime against an innocent child. There's just no justice. You can give him 1,000 years, it's never going to take away what he did to her and what he took from her,” said Claudia Aguilar, whose daughter was victimized by Alferez.
Claudia Aguilar said her daughter was 11 or 12 years old, when Marco Alferez videotaped her as she undressed in a fitting room. Aguilar's daughter was among the hundreds of students, victimized by their teacher and his hidden camera.
"It's hard to trust people. It's hard to open up to people, but I have to realize that not everybody's like that,” said Aguilar's daughter.
Both Aguilar and her daughter testified against Alferez in court Thursday afternoon. They also listened to the 35-year-old apologize for his actions, and explain that he himself was sexually abused as a child.
Alferez asked his students for forgiveness, and said he's taking responsibility for what he did.
"This has nothing to do with them...it's my fault because of my past,” said Alferez.
Before learning his fate, Alferez used words like "leniency", and "rehabilitation" while pleading for a lesser sentence.
"Do I deserve 50 years? No, I don't. I do, however, deserve to be punished because i broke the law,” said Alferez.
Alferez's defense attorney said his client's 50-year sentence is harsh.
"I'm just sorry that we weren't able to do a little better on the sentencing issues. That's a pretty heavy sentence for what he did,” said attorney Michael Gibson.
Gibson claims that prosecutors in this case inflamed Alferez's victims.
"He took upskirt photographs and things like that. The only reason some of those people are all upset is because the government went around and told them,” said Gibson.
Claudia Aguilar said she can only hope that parents can learn from what happened to her daughter.
"Just be cautious of who you trust your children with,” said Aguilar.
In all, 393 of Marco Alferez's students were victimized. In some cases, Alferez taped himself having sex with minors. At this point, it's unknown if Alferez will appeal the sentence.