25-year-old Houston man sent to prison for soliciting sexually-explicit videos of minors


HOUSTON – A Houston man has been sent to prison after pleading guilty to the production and possession of child pornography.

According to the United States Department of Justice, 25-year-old Austin Gray Roberson was convicted on three counts of sexual exploitation of a minor and one count of possession of child pornography.

Authorities in California stated that they had executed a search warrant back in June 2018 at a residence as a result of a child pornography investigation.

Several electronic devices were seized at the time.

Forensic analysis revealed Roberson had been communicating with others on the social media application ‘Kik’ for the purpose of obtaining and trading child pornography.

Roberson ultimately admitted he would portray himself on the app as a minor female named “Kayla” that he would use to target minor males between 12 and 17 years of age. Roberson allegedly sent nude selfies and videos of a suspected minor female engaging in sexual acts in an attempt to get the underaged males to reciprocate.

Authorities ultimately discovered the 18 minor victims from whom Roberson solicited child pornography.

After a forensic exam on Roberson’s cellphone, law enforcement officials found 3,765 images and 746 videos of young children engaged in sexually explicit conduct. The images and videos include children under the age of 12 participating in sexual acts such as bondage, bestiality, and acts of violence, such as the penetration of the young victims.

U.S. District Judge Kenneth M. Hoyt considered one victim impact statement during sentencing on how Roberson’s conduct affected him.

Roberson was sentenced to 180 months on each of the sexual exploitation of a minor counts, and 120 months for possessing child pornography. Those sentences will run concurrently.

Additionally, Roberson was ordered to pay restitution to the victims and will serve 15 years of supervised release following his prison term. During that time, he will have to comply with numerous requirements designed to restrict his access to the internet and will also be required to register as a sex offender.

Roberson was permitted to remain on bond and voluntarily surrender to a U.S. Bureau of Prisons facility to be determined in the near future.

About the Author:

Moriah Ballard joined the KPRC 2 digital team in the fall of 2021. Prior to becoming a digital content producer in Southeast Texas and a Houstonian, Moriah was an award-winning radio host in her hometown of Lorain, Ohio and previously worked as a producer/content creator in Cleveland. Her faith, family, and community are her top passions.