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Child Exploitation
04/02/2009

Man charged with additional child pornography and sex tourism

NEW HAVEN, Conn. - A former Connecticut resident is charged with additional criminal charges related to child pornography and sexual tourism following an investigation by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE).

A federal grand jury sitting in Bridgeport has returned a superseding indictment charging Edgardo Sensi, 52, formerly of Connecticut and last residing in Jensen Beach, Fla., with one count of conspiracy to produce child pornography, one count of production of child pornography, one count of engaging in illicit sexual conduct outside of the United States, and one count of production of child pornography outside of the United States. Nora R. Dannehy, acting United States attorney for the District of Connecticut, and Bruce M. Foucart, special agent-in-charge of ICE's Office of Investigations in Boston, announced that the superseding indictment was returned today.

The indictment re-alleges that, from approximately 2001 to 2004, while living in Connecticut, Sensi conspired with another individual (Jane Doe #1) to coerce a minor victim girl (M.V.#1), who was 8-years-old at the time the conspiracy began, to engage in sexually explicit conduct. The indictment alleges that Sensi encouraged M.V.#1 to be filmed while Sensi and Doe engaged her in sexually explicit conduct, engaged in a lengthy grooming process that involved trickery and desensitizing M.V.#1 to accept the sexual abuse that MV#1 was subjected to, and enticed M.V.#1 to engage in sado-masochistic sex acts.

The superseding indictment further alleges that, from January 2004 to 2005, Sensi made several trips to Nicaragua. In January 2004, while in Nicaragua, Sensi befriended a woman (Jane Doe #2), who was approximately 23-years-old and working as a maid. Sensi is alleged to have persuaded Jane Doe #2 to permit him to have access to Jane Doe #2's four-year-old daughter (M.V. #2) by providing her with benefits such as cash, a gold ring and perfume. Sensi also is alleged to have utilized luxury hotel rooms in Managua to engage in sex acts with Jane Doe #2, and also discussed with Jane Doe #2's family his intention to marry her and provide financially for her. Through this coercion, Sensi allegedly had illicit sexual contact with M.V.#2. Sensi also is alleged to have videotaped sex sessions that included both Jane Doe #2 and M.V.#2.

"This defendant is alleged to have seriously victimized young girls, both in this country and abroad, and I want to credit ICE and all the law enforcement components who are investigating this matter and attempting to locate potential victims," stated Acting U.S. Attorney Dannehy.

Sensi has been incarcerated since September 10, 2008, when he was arrested by the Martin County (Fla.) Sheriff's Office on State of Florida possession of child pornography charges.

"Child sex tourism is one of the most heinous crimes and cannot be tolerated," stated ICE Special Agent in Charge Foucart. "ICE along with law enforcement partners worldwide is working tirelessly to bring charges against those alleged to have committed such horrific crimes. Would be perpetrators should be on notice that law enforcement will not cease in bringing to justice those who sexually exploit children."

Count one of the superseding indictment, conspiracy to produce child pornography, carries a maximum term of imprisonment of five years. Count two, production of child pornography, carries a mandatory minimum term of imprisonment of 10 years and a maximum term of imprisonment of 20 years. Count three, engaging in illicit sexual conduct outside of the United States, carries a maximum term of imprisonment of 30 years. Count Four, production of child pornography outside of the United States, carries a mandatory minimum term of imprisonment of 15 years and a maximum term of imprisonment of life.

Acting U.S. Attorney Nora R. Dannehy stressed that an indictment is only a charge and is not evidence of guilt. The defendants are entitled to a fair trial at which it is the government's burden to prove guilt beyond a reasonable doubt.

Acting U.S. Attorney Dannehy stated the investigation is ongoing, and asked anyone with information that may be relevant to the investigation to call 203-773-2029.

This matter is being investigated by United States Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) in New Haven, with the assistance of ICE in Atlanta and Fort Pierce (Fla.), the ICE attaché office in Panama and ICE International Affairs in Washington, DC; the U.S. Department of State, Diplomatic Security Service, Regional Security Office, Managua; the Martin County (Fla.) Sheriff's Office, the Jones County (Ga.) Sheriff's Office, and the Georgia Bureau of Investigation.

Acting U.S. Attorney Dannehy also acknowledged the critical assistance provided by the Special Crimes Unit within the Criminal Investigative Division of the Nicaraguan National Police.

This case is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Krishna R. Patel.

Special Agent in Charge Foucart noted that this investigation is part of ICE's Operation Predator, the agency's flagship initiative targeting child sex predators.

Anyone wishing to report suspicious activity to ICE may do so by telephone or email: 1-866-DHS-2ICE or Operation.Predator@dhs.gov.

Anyone may report suspected child sexual exploitation or missing children to the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children (NCMEC) 1-800-843-5678 or www.cybertipline.com.