Crime & Courts

Kansas sex offender who produced child porn sentenced to 50 years in prison

A registered sex offender in Kansas who admitted in federal court to producing child pornography will go to prison for 50 years.

Daniel Eric Merida, 36, of El Dorado, was sentenced Wednesday in U.S. District Court in Wichita after previously pleading guilty to multiple porn-related crimes, U.S. Attorney Stephen McAllister said in a news release. The sentence handed down by the judge was 10 more years than what prosecutors had sought.

Merida pleaded guilty to sexual exploitation of a child-production of child porn, distribution of child porn, two counts of possessing child porn, transfer of obscene material to a minor and transportation of child pornography.

The crimes happened while he was still on supervised release in an unrelated case, McAllister said.

Merida is in the sex offender registry of the Kansas Bureau of Investigation. The KBI records show a previous conviction of internet sexual exploitation of a child in Telluride, Colorado, in 2014.

Merida admitted in his plea for the federal court case that he first contacted the 12-year-old victim on social media in 2012. He maintained an online sexual relationship with her for the next six years.

Their communication was interrupted in 2015 when he was jailed for an unrelated arrest. But communication was reestablished in 2016, when he “persuaded and enticed” the girl “to produce images of herself” that were sexual. A search of his phones by law enforcement found more child porn of prepubescent children engaged in sex acts.

Federal prosecutors had agreed in the plea deal not to recommend more than 40 years of prison. They also dismissed two counts of commission of certain felonies while required to register as a sex offender, on which he had been indicted by a grand jury.

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