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Child Exploitation

Former Puerto Rican teacher sentenced to 15 years for production of child pornography

SAN JUAN, Puerto Rico — A former teacher at the Bayamon Military Academy in Puerto Rico was sentenced to 15 years in prison in district court Tuesday for production of child pornography, following an investigation by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement's (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations (HSI).

Roberto Encarnacion Ruiz, 33, of Guaynabo, Puerto Rico, was arrested by HSI special agents June 22, 2011, along with four other men, for inducing a female minor to engage in sexually explicit conduct. According to the charging document the minor was induced to lasciviously perform sexual acts which the men recorded on a digital still camera and a video camera to illegally produce child pornography. He was sentenced by U.S. District Judge Jose Fuste.

In addition to Ruiz, three of the other defendants in this case: Rey Vilanova-Delgado, 32, of Fajardo; Felix Javier Gonzalez-Morales, 30, of Canovanas; and Felix Rodríguez-Acevedo, 33, of Caguas, pleaded guilty to production of child pornography charges. Zairo Ramos, 30, of Rio Piedras, was found guilty of the charge at trial in November 2011.

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 the Puerto Rico Crimes Against Children Task Force (PRCACTF) in June 2011.

Through PRCACTF, federal, local and state law enforcement agencies work together with state and local 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 share 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.