HOUSTON – A Richmond man was sentenced to 60 months in prison for "systematically torturing a former girlfriend by sending her horrific images and threatening email messages," according to federal authorities.
The jury returned the verdict against Heriberto Latigo on Oct. 27, after five days of trial and less than two hours of deliberations.
It is the first case tried in the Southern District of Texas in which a defendant has used the internet to cause substantial emotional distress. In the last 10 years, fewer than 100 defendants have been convicted using the federal stalking statute.
On Monday, Latigo received his sentence.
Latigo was also ordered to serve three years of supervised release at the end of his prison term. He is also ordered to receive mental health treatment while serving his time.
The judge said the maximum sentence, which Latigo received, may not be enough and said Latigo may just be "mean and evil."
Latigo and the victim started dating in 2013.
During the course of the relationship, Latigo became controlling and demanding, even forcing the victim to send naked photos of herself to him, according to court records.
The victim testified that she was, and remains, afraid of Latigo.
“There was not a day that I didn’t feel scared,” she said.
In June 2014, the victim discovered she was pregnant, but due to the relationship with Latigo, she decided to end her pregnancy.
When Latigo found out about the abortion, he created a Facebook page with the name “Magdelana Aborted.” On the page, he pretended to be the aborted fetus.
The victim was so upset after the situation, she overdosed on tranquilizers in an attempt to take her own life, authorities said.
From March 2014 to April 2015, Latigo threatened and forced the victim to do things against her will. He used the naked photos she had sent to him to blackmail her into sexual demands. If she refused, he would post the photos online.
The victim had to ask Google to remove the naked photos of her on multiple occasions.
Latigo also sent the photos to the victim's sister, her sister's boss and male co-workers.
The victim moved, closed her Facebook account and changed jobs, but Latigo still found her and continued the harassment.
Latigo represented himself during the trial.