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Child pornography case in Victoria begins

By Jessica Priest
June 3, 2014 at 1:03 a.m.
Updated June 4, 2014 at 1:04 a.m.


Trial continues

The trial is expected to last until Thursday. Judge Robert C. Cheshire is presiding in a courtroom on the second floor of the historic Victoria courthouse, 115 N. Bridge Street.

A trial began Tuesday for a Victoria man charged with using his neighbor's unprotected Wi-Fi connection to download and view child pornography.

The defendant, Jason Terrence Leita, also likely visited perverted-justice.com - a website popularized by the show "How to Catch A Predator" - to learn how to avoid law enforcement detection, said former Victoria County Sheriff's Office Investigator Daniel Simons.

Simons, the first witness to testify, oriented 11 jurors to Leita's home on Pennsylvania Avenue as it appeared Aug. 1, 2012.

That's when a task force comprised of Victoria County Sheriff's Office deputies and Victoria Police Department officers executed a search warrant.

Leita had just returned home in a maroon Ford F-150 from working the night shift at Berry Plastics, something he's done for two years.

Simons said they found an HP laptop computer on the dining room table still in the process of downloading at least 20 child pornography videos and photos.

Leita's dining room faced his next-door neighbor Rene Figueroa's home office, Simons said.

Figueroa's house was searched by authorities June 20, 2012, but he was cleared of any wrongdoing.

Investigators Aug. 1 also seized from Leita's home several handwritten notes, a TV and a PlayStation 3 from the entertainment center. A PlayStation 3 can be used to watch movies or browse the Internet.

Although investigators could not use the same equipment to analyze the PlayStation 3 as they did on the laptop, in the PlayStation 3's browsing history, Leita visited at least one website with a child pornography video Oct. 18, 2011, Simons said.

On the handwritten notes were passwords for encrypted child pornography files, addresses to websites with child pornography and perverted-justice.com.

Although Simons now works for Parkway Church, he still holds a peace officer's license with the Sheriff's Office, he said.

Leita faces 14 counts of possession or promotion of child pornography instead of the original 17.

Assistant District Attorney Johna Stallings abandoned three counts of possession or promotion of child pornography to "streamline" the case, she said.

Leita is represented by Victoria attorney M.P. "Dexter" Eaves.

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