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Child Exploitation

HSI arrests assistant church pastor for sexually enticing a minor

The Vega Baja resident faces a sentence of up to life in prison

SAN JUAN, Puerto Rico – U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) special agents, working jointly with Puerto Rico Crimes Against Children Task Force (PRCACTF) officers, arrested Friday an assistant church pastor from Vega Baja for sexually enticing a minor.

Dolores Pagan-Lozada, 54, was arrested 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 Facebook chat between Pagan-Lozada and Jane Doe. During the conversation, 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 at his residence, where he kissed and touched her. The complaint also alleges that Pagan-Lozada constantly reminded Jane Doe to delete their conversations and to be smart.

Pagan-Lozada had an initial hearing before a magistrate judge Tuesday and was transferred to the Metropolitan Detention Center in Guaynabo to await the outcome of his case.

"Sexually exploiting children is despicable," said Angel M. Melendez, special agent in charge of HSI San Juan. "ICE HSI will go the extra mile to catch those individuals who prey on 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 case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Mariana Bauza.

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 1-866-347-2423 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, 1-800-843-5678.

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.