Man Who Hid Cameras in Children Bathroom’s Sentenced

YAKIMA, WA – In a recent announcement by Vanessa R. Waldref, the United States Attorney for the Eastern District of Washington, Miguel Urbina, a 38-year-old resident of Yakima, Washington, has been sentenced to prison. Urbina was found guilty on two counts of Production and Attempted Production of Child Pornography and one count of Possession of Child Pornography.

Following his guilty plea, United States District Judge Mary K. Dimke sentenced Urbina to 300 months in prison, which will be followed by a lifetime term of supervised release. In addition to his prison sentence, Urbina will be required to register as a sex offender, a mandate that will follow him for the remainder of his life.

The Department of Justice’s investigation unveiled that Urbina and another individual were behind the production of child pornography back in February 2007. The duo used a digital video camera, concealed within a woman’s purse, to secretly record children inside a bathroom at the Union Gap Mall. The illicitly obtained images and videos were stored on Urbina’s computer hard drive.

Furthermore, Urbina was found to be involved in the production and attempted production of child pornography between November 2008 and November 2009. The victim, in this case, was a minor who was under the age of eighteen.

On April 23, 2020, FBI agents executed a federal search warrant at Urbina’s residence in Yakima, Washington. The search led to the seizure of a hard drive containing thousands of images of child pornography. The search warrant also resulted in retrieving the audio/video recording from the Union Gap Mall bathroom. Explicit recordings made by Urbina in 2008 and 2009 were also discovered during the search.

U.S. Attorney Vanessa R. Waldref expressed her concern over Urbina’s actions, which spanned over two decades. She stated that Urbina’s secretive recording of children and his engagement in inappropriate behavior with another child led to the court’s decision to impose a strict sentence. Waldref emphasized that Urbina’s actions were not just a violation of privacy but also a gross abuse of trust and a manifestation of his disregard for childhood innocence.

Richard A. Collodi, Special Agent in Charge of the FBI Seattle field office, echoed Waldref’s sentiments. He expressed his deep concern over Urbina’s exploitation and victimization of children. Collodi highlighted Urbina’s role as a parent and law enforcement officer, stating that Urbina’s criminal activities spanned several years and involved the use of a hidden camera to create and store explicit images involving child abuse.

This case was pursued as part of Project Safe Childhood, a nationwide initiative launched in May 2006 by the United States Department of Justice. The project aims to combat the growing issue of child sexual exploitation and abuse. Project Safe Childhood is a collaborative effort led by the United States Attorneys’ Offices and the Criminal Division’s Child Exploitation and Obscenity Section. It is designed to bring together federal, state, and local resources to address the issue of individuals who sexually exploit children effectively. The primary goals of this project are to locate, apprehend, and prosecute these individuals while also identifying and rescuing the victims involved.

Michael Murphy, the Assistant U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of Washington, handled the case, which the Federal Bureau of Investigation investigated.