On Wednesday morning, a federal grand jury returned a 22-count indictment against Hilton Cordero-Rosario for inducing a female minor to engage in sexually explicit conduct including the lascivious exhibition of the genital areas for the purpose of producing still images.
According to the indictment, Cordero-Rosario had in his computer and other electronic media visual images and video files depicting actual minors engaging in sexually explicit conduct such as depictions of the lascivious exhibition of the genital areas of minors and simulated as well as actual sexual acts with minors.
"This indictment and arrest should send a clear message to those who think they can hide their illegal actions behind the anonymity of the Internet," said Roberto Escobar Vargas, special agent in charge of ICE HSI in San Juan. "We will continue working with our federal and local partners in Puerto Rico Crimes Against Children Task Force to identify, arrest, and prosecute those who exploit the most vulnerable segment of our society — our children."
Attending to the need for an island-wide approach to fight the escalation of predatory crimes against children, the HSI office in San Juan has partnered with members of local, state and federal law enforcement, as well as with local and state government officials and community leaders, to form the Puerto Rico Crimes Against Children Task Force (PRCACTF).
Through the PRCACTF, agencies work together to pool their resources and jointly investigate all crimes against children in Puerto Rico. Under the task force, law enforcement agents are encouraged to share evidence, ideas and investigative and forensic tools to ensure the most successful prosecutions possible. As such, the PRCACTF allows law enforcement to speak with one unified voice in defense of the children of Puerto Rico.
This case was investigated under Operation Predator, an ICE 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.
Cordero-Rosario had his initial hearing on Wednesday before Magistrate Judge Silvia Carreño. He was transferred to the Guaynabo Metropolitan Detention Center, in Guaynabo, Puerto Rico awaiting the outcome of his case. He faces a mandatory minimum sentence of 15 years in prison and maximum sentence of 30 years if found guilty in a court of law.
ICE encourages the public to report suspected child predators by calling at 1-866-DHS-2ICE. For more information, visit www.ice.gov.