Government Employee Escapes Punishment for Atrocious Crime

An intern was caught downloading child pornography at NASA, but officials let him continue working until he was arrested in an agency office a month later, according to documents obtained by The Daily Caller News Foundation’s (TheDCNF) Investigative Group.

Federal attorneys decided not to prosecute Arthemuel Panes Hernaez, despite his possessing around 1,000 pornographic images of children. Hernaez was later prosecuted in a local court but was only sentenced to four months in county jail after the judge feared a longer stretch could cost Hernaez his NASA internship.

A federal investigator discovered “that a NASA intern was downloading child pornographic material onto his personal laptop” on Dec. 5, 2014, according to a NASA Inspector General (IG) report TheDCNF obtained through a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request.

Hernaez allowed investigators to search his laptop. They “confirmed the presence of images and videos on the computer that appeared to depict naked underage children engaged in sexually explicit conduct,” the report said. Investigators informed Hernaez that “he did not have to say anything and he was free to leave.”


Originally published by the Daily Caller.