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Child Exploitation

Puerto Rican man sentenced to 50 years in prison for production of child pornography

SAN JUAN, Puerto Rico — A Puerto Rican man was sentenced to 50 years in federal prison Friday for production of child pornography. The sentence resulted from an investigation by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement's (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) and the Puerto Rico Crimes Against Children Task Force.

Luis Alberto Morales-Badillo, 42, must also serve 15 years of supervised release after he completes his prison sentence.

In May 2012, Morales-Badillo was charged with production and possession of child pornography. Evidence presented at court revealed that from 1999 to 2010, he engaged in illicit sexually explicit conduct with five different female minors and documented his sexual abuse by recording the crimes. From 1999 to 2004 he abused a female minor beginning when she was just 8 years old; from 2005 to 2008 he sexually abusing two female siblings beginning when they were 4 and 9 years old; and, from 2007 to 2008 he exploited a female minor when she was 12 years old. In 2010 he sexually exploited an 8-year-old female. HSI special agents discovered the evidence during the execution of a federal search warrant in August 2011, during which a digital camera and a portable computer containing the evidence were seized.

Morales-Badillo has also been convicted at the state level for sexually abusing two additional female minors from 1995 to 1999.

"This sentence should serve as a reminder that HSI will not tolerate child abuse and that those engaged in any type of child exploitation will pay for their despicable acts against children," said Angel M. Melendez, special agent in charge of HSI San Juan. "This man exhibited a pattern of sexual abuse against innocent female minors until HSI special agents arrested him in 2011. For this he will spend the rest of his years in prison."

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.