Documents: Las Cruces principal shared child porn on Twitter, had files on hard drive

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A Las Cruces principal is in jail for allegedly having and sharing child pornography videos, according to a criminal complaint obtained by KTSM.

As KTSM previously reported, police arrested Zia Middle School Principal Joel Aguilar Villanueva, 42, on Wednesday.

According to documents, authorities received a tip in October 2018 that a Twitter account with the username “azteca88047” was sharing videos of child pornography.

Investigators say one video featured a boy between the ages of 12 and 16 with his private areas exposed and performing a sexual act with another male.

According to the criminal complaint, the video’s caption read “aprenden rapido,” which translates in English to “they learn quickly.”

Upon months of investigation, authorities traced the IP address information to Villanueva. 

Law enforcement officers conducted a search warrant of Villanueva’s apartment on Tuesday and reportedly found more than 100 files of suspected child porn in a folder named “FORMS 2019.” 

Documents state the videos also show young boys—some as young as four years old—involved in sexual activities. 

Villanueva is charged with Transportation of Child Pornography and Possession of Child Pornography.

If convicted of the transportation charge, Villanueva faces five to 20 years in prison, and a maximum of 20 years on the possession charge.

Las Cruces Public Schools released the following statement to KTSM:

Yesterday, one Las Cruces Public Schools employee was arrested and has been detained by law enforcement. The District immediately removed this employee from his duties and he has been placed on indefinite leave status.

The district has initiated an internal investigation of this matter, and LCPS is fully cooperating with law enforcement. The safety and security of students is always our top concern.

The district has no information at this time that indicates any LCPS students were involved. Nevertheless, the district has granted investigators access to school technology and other information. This remains an active investigation. Due to the serious nature of the allegations, we are exercising our own due diligence and conducting our own internal investigation.

Superintendent Greg Ewing said he appreciates all of the dedicated teachers and administrators in the district. We continue to offer support to all schools, students, teachers, administrators and staff.

LCPS is committed to providing the best education possible for our students, and we thank our community for its ongoing support.

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