Court proceedings continue for Marfa locals facing charges relating to child sex abuse material 

MARFA — Patricio Javier “P.J.” Serrano, a Marfa resident who was arrested in May and charged with possession of child sex abuse material, was indicted Monday on an additional count of transportation of child sex abuse material.

A federal grand jury found that in addition to possession, Serrano was “aiding and abetting another, did knowingly transport child pornography,” according to the superseding indictment. Transportation, as defined by the courts, includes transport by electronic means.

Serrano, 35, was in a previous romantic partnership with Marfa resident Sonya Murillo, 32, who was arrested in June and indicted on four counts of production and one count of distribution of child sex abuse material. Serrano was a coach with the Big Bend Amateur Softball Association and Murillo was a Marfa ISD substitute teacher. 

So far, the defendants’ cases have played out separately in the courts, and it is unclear whether the cases are related. The U.S. Attorney’s Office declined to comment on the matter.

Both the possession and transportation counts Serrano is being charged with have a maximum of 20 years imprisonment. Serrano was in possession of child sex abuse material involving a prepubescent female child, according to court documents. 

Serrano, who previously pleaded not guilty, will now have the option to either enter into a plea deal or go to trial. The plea deadline and a potential trial date have been pushed back and are set for August and September, respectively. 

“We’re reviewing the evidence and the charges and deciding how best to proceed forward,” said Serrano’s attorney Shane O’Neal. 

Murillo, who was arrested after investigators with the Texas Department of Public Safety uncovered video evidence of her performing sexual acts on a young child while “conducting a forensic review of a cell phone from a different child pornography investigation in Marfa,” according to the criminal complaint, pleaded not guilty earlier this month. She will now either enter into a plea deal or go to trial. Murillo waived her right to a bond hearing and did not appear at her arraignment. 

Murillo’s lawyer, Bart Medley, declined to comment on the case. The Texas Department of Public Safety has not responded to requests for comment on the status of the investigations. 

Both Serrano and Murillo are being held without bond at the West Texas Detention Facility in Sierra Blanca.