Marfa resident PJ Serrano pleads guilty to possession, transportation of child sex abuse material

MARFA — Patricio Javier “P.J.” Serrano, a 36-year-old Marfa resident and softball coach arrested in May, pleaded guilty last week to one count of possession of child sex abuse material and one count of transportation, aiding and abetting.

Serrano faces five to 20 years in prison for the transportation charge in addition to up to 20 years for the possession charge. Federal District Court Judge David Counts will determine Serrano’s sentence after considering U.S. sentencing guidelines as well as other statutory factors, according to a press release from the United States Attorney’s Office.

A final sentencing will likely take place in the new year, said Serrano’s attorney, Shane O’Neal.

“Mr. Serrano decided to plead guilty and accept responsibility in the hopes that Judge [David] Counts will look favorably upon him in sentencing,” said O’Neal.

Serrano has been held without bond since his arrest in May after investigators with the Federal Bureau of Investigation and Texas Department of Public safety discovered multiple photos and videos depicting child sex abuse material stored on Serrano’s cell phone and in a web browser, according to a criminal complaint.

Investigators found that Serrano also sent links of child sex abuse material to other individuals via email in 2017 using the application imgbox, whose servers are located outside of the United States, according to court documents.

Around a month after Serrano’s arrest, a previous romantic partner of his, 32-year-old Marfa resident Sonya Murillo, who worked as a property manager and substitute teacher at Marfa ISD, was arrested and charged with child sexual exploitation.

At least eight videos of Murillo performing sexual acts on a young child were uncovered by investigators while “conducting a forensic review of a cell phone from a different child pornography investigation in Marfa,” according to the criminal complaint. It is unclear whether or not the two cases are related. Murillo is being held without bond while court proceedings, for which there are no recent public updates, continue.