A certified nursing assistant from Pomona was sentenced to life in prison for filming himself sexually abusing disabled children at a group home where he worked, federal authorities said Tuesday.

Steve Rodriguez, 38, was sentenced during a hearing Friday in Santa Ana, where U.S. District Judge John W. Holcomb described his crimes as “unspeakable acts,” according to the U.S. attorney’s office for the Central District of California.

In September, Rodriguez pleaded guilty to two counts of obtaining custody of a minor for the purposes of producing child pornography, five counts of production of child pornography, and one count of enticement of a minor to engage in criminal sexual activity, according to federal officials.

Rodriguez produced sexually abusive material with four young victims, three of whom were severely disabled children living at an Inland Empire group home where he worked from January 2016 through May 2020. One of his victims was 8 when Rodriguez began filming his sexual abuse, which had been ongoing for two years, prosecutors said.

Authorities began investigating Rodriguez when the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children contacted the Los Angeles Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force with information about the abuse.

“Rodriguez had a duty as medical caregiver … to keep his victims safe and alive, but he instead violated that trust in the most despicable way,” U.S. Atty. Martin Estrada said in a statement.

Eddy Wang, acting special agent in charge at Homeland Security Investigations Los Angeles, said in a statement that “Rodriguez took advantage of our most vulnerable population. The horror he inflicted upon these children was unconscionable.”

Rodriguez will appear again before Holcomb in March for a restitution hearing.

Two co-defendants to whom Rodriguez sent images and videos, Cyr Dino Banguguilan, 36, of Azusa, and Miguel Bocardo, 23, of Baldwin Park, were each found guilty in November of receipt of child pornography and possession of child pornography, according to federal officials.

They will be sentenced next month and face up to 20 years in federal prison.

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