Providence Man Pleads Guilty To Producing Child Pornography Outside The U.S.
PROVIDENCE, R.I. – Juan Carlos Santiago, 35, of Providence, R.I., pleaded guilty in U.S. District Court in Providence today to production of child pornography outside the United States and transporting it into the United States. Santiago faces between 15-30 years in federal prison, followed by 5 years to lifetime supervised release, when he is sentenced on June 6, 2013.
Appearing before U.S. District Court Chief Judge Mary M. Lisi, Santiago admitted to the court that he travelled to the Dominican Republic in January 2011, and recorded himself engaged in sexually explicit conduct with a prepubescent male child. Santiago admitted that he transported the images and videos back to the United States. He also admitted to recording video chat sessions, including sexually explicit conduct, with minors he engaged using social media.
Santiago also admitted to the court that he possessed at least 50 such videos on his home computer, and that he received and distributed at least 150 images of child pornography.
Santiago’s guilty plea was announced by United States Attorney Peter F. Neronha; Colonel Steven G. O’DonnellSuperintendent of the Rhode Island State Police; and Bruce M. Foucart, Special Agent in Charge of the Boston Field Office of Homeland Security Investigations.
On October 26, 2012, members of the Rhode Island State Police Internet Crimes Against Children (ICAC) Task Force conducted a court authorized search of Santiago’s residence and seized two computers, digital storage devices, a digital camera and assorted CDs and DVDs. A forensic examination of the equipment by a Rhode Island State Police Computer Crimes Digital Forensic Analyst revealed numerous images of Santiago engaged in sexual activity with a prepubescent male. Based on GPS coordinates embedded inside the photographs discovered by the analyst, agents determined that the images were taken in the Dominican Republic.
Santiago was arrested on December 20, 2012, by agents from Homeland Security Investigations and members of the ICAC Task Force. He has been detained in federal custody since his arrest.
The case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Adi Goldstein.
The ICAC Task Force is a Department of Justice grant-funded program administered by the Rhode Island State Police, and is comprised of detectives from the Rhode Island State Police; Providence, West Warwick, Coventry, Warwick, Johnston, and Pawtucket Police Departments; and federal agents from ICE-HSI, United States Postal Inspectors’ Office and United States Naval Criminal Investigative Service. The objective of the ICAC Task Force is to form strong working relationships among federal, state and local law enforcement in order to effectively and efficiently prevent, detect, investigate, and prosecute online child exploitation and child pornography crimes.
This case is being brought as part of Project Safe Childhood, a nationwide initiative launched in May 2006 by the Department of Justice to combat the growing epidemic of child sexual exploitation and abuse. Led by the United States Attorneys’ Offices and the Criminal Division’s Child Exploitation and Obscenity Section, Project Safe Childhood marshals federal, state and local resources to locate, apprehend and prosecute individuals who sexually exploit children, and to identify and rescue victims. For more information about Project Safe Childhood, please visit www.usdoj.gov/psc For more information about internet safety education, please visit www.usdoj.gov/psc and click on the tab “resources.”