SAN JUAN, Puerto Rico — A 54-year-old former church pastor was sentenced Tuesday in U.S. District Court to 10 years in prison for sexually enticing a minor. The sentencing follows 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).
On Nov. 8, 2013, HSI special agents arrested Dolores Pagan-Lozada at his place of residence after an HSI investigation, which stemmed from a referral by the Puerto Rico Police Department, revealed that he engaged in sexually explicit conversations with a 16-year-old minor identified as Jane Doe.
According to the criminal complaint, HSI special agents reviewed an Oct. 9, 2013, Facebook chat between Pagan-Lozada and Jane Doe. During which, Pagan-Lozada wrote that he was out of place for touching Jane Doe but that he wanted to touch her more. He added that he was excited when Jane Doe arrived to his residence where he later kissed and touched her. The complaint also alleges that Pagan-Lozada constantly reminded Jane Done to delete their conversations and to "be smart."
"Sexually exploiting children is despicable," said Angel M. Melendez, special agent in charge of HSI San Juan. "HSI will go the extra mile to catch those individuals who prey on these innocent victims. Identifying and investigating those who victimize children, especially those who hold positions of public trust as in the case of Mr. Pagan-Lozada, is one of the top priorities of HSI."
The investigation was part of HSI's Operation Predator, an international initiative to protect children from sexual predators. Since the launch of Operation Predator in 2003, HSI has arrested more than 10,000 individuals for crimes against children, including the production and distribution of online child pornography, traveling overseas for sex with minors, and sex trafficking of children. In fiscal year 2013, more than 2,000 individuals were arrested by HSI special agents under this initiative.
HSI encourages the public to report suspected child predators and any suspicious activity through its toll-free Tip Line at 1-866-DHS-2-ICE or by completing its online tip form. Both are staffed around the clock by investigators. Suspected child sexual exploitation or missing children may be reported to the National Center for Missing & Exploited Children, an Operation Predator partner, via its toll-free 24-hour hotline, 1-800-THE-LOST.
HSI is a founding member and current chair of the Virtual Global Taskforce, an international alliance of law enforcement agencies and private industry sector partners working together to prevent and deter online child sexual abuse.