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Child Exploitation
09/24/2014

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HSI arrests former school teacher, pastor on child exploitation charges

SAN JUAN, Puerto Rico — U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement's (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) special agents, working jointly with the Puerto Rico Crimes Against Children Task Force (PRCACTF), arrested Wednesday a former teacher and pastor of a local church in Trujillo Alto for attempted production of child pornography.

HSI special agents arrested Reinaldo Colon-Aleman, 44, following a referral from the Puerto Rico Police Department's (PRPD) Sexual Crimes Division Jan. 15 regarding an adult male identified as Colon-Aleman. According to the criminal complaint, Colon-Aleman allegedly sent sexually explicit photos of himself to one of his students and requested sexually explicit photos from her, while threatening the 17-year-old minor with bad grades if she refused to provide the photos.

The criminal complaint further alleges that on or about February 2014, an HSI special agent posing as a 13-year-old female began communicating with Colon-Aleman using KiK, a smartphone application that allows users to communicate by video and instant message over the Internet. The conversations were sexually explicit in nature and Colon-Aleman repeatedly requested nude pictures of the minor.

"This man used and abused his position of trust to satisfy his own perverse sexual interest in young girls," said Angel M. Melendez, special agent in charge of HSI San Juan. "All children have an absolute right to grow up free from the fear of being sexually exploited. They should never have to fear those who are supposed to protect them. HSI and our partners will relentlessly pursue anyone who sexually exploits our kids in any way."

Colon-Aleman had his initial hearing before U.S. Magistrate Judge Bruce McGiverin. He was transferred to the Metropolitan Detention Center in Guaynabo until his bail hearing set for Sept. 29.

In June 2011, the Puerto Rico Crimes Against Children Task Force (PRCACTF) was created by HSI San Juan to respond to the need for an island-wide approach to fighting the escalating number of predatory crimes against children. The task force is a partnership between HSI San Juan and members of local, state and federal law enforcement, as well as local and state government officials and community leaders.

Through PRCACTF, local, state and federal law enforcement agencies work together with local and state 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 investigative and forensic tools to ensure the most successful prosecutions possible. As such, PRCACTF allows law enforcement to speak with a unified voice in defense of the children of Puerto Rico.

The task force and its investigations are 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.

For additional information about wanted suspected child predators, download HSI's Operation Predator smartphone app or visit the online suspect alerts page.

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.

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Last Reviewed/Updated: 09/29/2014