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Ex-high school coach convicted of sexual exploitation of player

Updated Thursday, April 25, 2013 | 1:22 p.m.

Albert S. Hernandez

Albert S. Hernandez

A former Silverado High School softball coach faces up to 30 years in prison after being convicted of the sexual exploitation of a minor, federal prosecutors announced Thursday.

Albert Silva Hernandez Jr., 44, was convicted Wednesday of eight counts of sexual exploitation of a minor in connection with the production of child pornography and of exchanging sexually explicit text messages and photographs with a minor girl, according to the U.S. attorney for the District of Nevada. A jury delivered a guilty verdict after Hernandez's three-day trial in U.S. District Court in Las Vegas.

An investigation was launched April 23, 2012, after a 17-year-old softball player’s father contacted police about what he suspected was an inappropriate relationship between his daughter and Hernandez, Clark County School District Police reported at the time of Hernandez's arrest.

The student’s mother told police Hernandez, of Las Vegas, acted as a mentor and father figure to her daughter and that her daughter said she and the coach maintained a player-coach relationship.

According to the indictment and the evidence introduced at trial, Hernandez engaged in sexual relations with the 17-year-old player, photographed the sexual acts with his cellular phone camera and sent the images to the girl. Hernandez also had the girl photograph herself naked and send those images to him by her cellular phone. The pornographic images were produced and the text messages were exchanged between Hernandez and the victim, on four occasions, beginning on Christmas Day, 2011, and ending Feb. 2, 2012.

Hernandez had been a softball coach at Silverado since 2009 and was named the school's head coach for the 2012 season. He was arrested May 31, 2012.

Hernandez remains in custody. His sentencing is scheduled for Aug. 5 before U.S. District Judge James C. Mahan.

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