Ronald Eugene Bernal, 47, was booked last week into the Washoe County Jail on a federal charge of child pornography. He was scheduled his first court appearance Monday afternoon in federal court in Reno.
Authorities allege the crimes occurred in Lassen County, Calif., sometime on or before June 2008.
According to a criminal complaint, Bernal’s wife did not immediately tell authorities that she found 43 images of minor girls on a digital memory card. Instead she made him promise to go to counseling in lieu of her making the report.
But when she learned last week he had only gone to at least one session with a local pastor in the two weeks since she confronted him, she gave the Lassen County Sheriff’s Office the memory card.
Authorities said the photos on the disk included photos of Bernal’s hand — identified from his watch — allegedly assaulting his wife’s young relative and another girl familiar to Bernal. He told his wife he downloaded the rest of the dozens of child pornography images from the Internet.
The complaint said Bernal’s wife also let authorities tape record two conversations she had with Bernal, where he admitted to the crimes.
His wife found the disk after it fell out of his jacket and she reviewed what was on it, the complaint said.