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Child Exploitation
09/04/2012

HSI arrests Puerto Rican man on child pornography charges

SAN JUAN, Puerto Rico – A 26-year-old Puerto Rican man was arrested in San Lorenzo, Puerto Rico, Friday for sexually enticing a minor. The charges resulted from an investigation by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement's (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) and the Puerto Rico Crimes Against Children Task Force (PRCACTF).

HSI special agents received information July 5 about the involvement of Angel M. Medina-Ayala in a relationship with a 15-year-old female minor. HSI special agents interviewed the minor's father, who indicated that Medina-Ayala picked up the girl from school in the middle of the day and took her to a motel for the specific purpose of engaging in sexually explicit conduct with her. The father of the minor turned two cellular telephones over to HSI special agents that were allegedly given to the girl by Medina-Ayala so he could communicate with her. Using one telephone, Medina-Ayala requested that the minor take photos of herself engaging in sexually explicit conduct.

According to count one of the two-count criminal complaint, from January through July Medina-Ayala enticed and coerced the minor female to engage in sexually explicit conduct, namely the lascivious exhibition of the genital areas and performance of sexual acts for the purpose of producing a visual depiction of such conduct. Count two of the complaint charges him with transportation of a minor with intent to engage in criminal sexual activity. More specifically, count two states that on or about Jan. 27, Medina-Ayala transported a minor from her school to the OK Motel in Caguas, Puerto Rico, with the intent that she engage in sexual activity, which constitutes a criminal offense under Puerto Rico and federal laws.

In response to the need for an island-wide approach to fighting the escalation of predatory crimes against children, HSI San Juan partnered with members of local, state and federal law enforcement, as well as local and state government officials and community leaders, to form PRCACTF in June 2011.

Through PRCACTF, local, state and federal law enforcement agencies work together with local and state government agencies to effectively pool their resources to jointly investigate all crimes against children in Puerto Rico. Through the task force, law enforcement officers are encouraged to share evidence, ideas, and investigative and forensic tools to ensure the most successful prosecutions possible. As such, PRCACTF allows law enforcement to speak with one unified voice in defense of the children of Puerto Rico.

This investigation was part of Operation Predator, a nationwide HSI initiative to protect children from sexual predators, including those who travel overseas for sex with minors, Internet child pornographers, criminal alien sex offenders and child sex traffickers. HSI encourages the public to report suspected child predators and any suspicious activity through its toll-free hotline at 1-866-DHS-2ICE or by completing its online tip form. Both are staffed around the clock by investigators.

If convicted, Medina-Ayala faces a mandatory minimum sentence of 15 years in prison for count one and 10 years for count two. Count one carries a maximum statutory penalty of 30 years in prison while count two carries a statutory maximum sentence of life in prison.