An Oklahoma man, who reportedly planned to plead guilty to an indictment alleging he produced and/or promoted pornography involving a Royse City child, will instead be going to trial early next year.
Philip Terrell Mendoza was arraigned and pleaded not guilty Aug. 29 on the indictment issued by a Hunt County grand jury in July.
During a Nov. 7 hearing in the 354th District Court, Judge Keli Aiken indicated she would be taking a guilty plea under advisement.
During an announcement hearing in the courtroom Nov. 26, Aiken instead scheduled a jury trial in the case for March 23. A pretrial hearing was set for March 19.
Mendoza, 28, remained in the Hunt County Detention Center Tuesday, being held in lieu of $300,000 bond on a charge of sexual performance by a child of less than 14 years of age.
The indictment alleges Mendoza was involved in “composing, directing and/or promoting” the pornographic material on or about May 2.
Mendoza was arrested June 17 at a residence in Madill, Oklahoma.
Royse City Police Department spokesman Darnell Franklin said a parent filed a complaint with the department May 5, alleging Mendoza and a child had interacted online.
The child admitted she and Mendoza had been in contact and the department traced the link back to Mendoza.
The department investigated the incident alongside local agencies and the Marshall County, Oklahoma District Attorney’s Office, resulting in the arrest at Mendoza’s residence.
Franklin said investigators found copies of photos and videos of the communications between Mendoza and the victim and that during an interview with investigators Mendoza confessed.
The charge is a first-degree felony, punishable upon conviction by a maximum sentence of from five to 99 years to life in prison.