News

Sixty Year Old Individual Arrested for Child Pornography

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
February 21, 2013

SAN JUAN, Puerto Rico —U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) special agents, and officers assigned to the Puerto Rico Crimes Against Children Task Force (PRCACTF) arrested a Las Piedras resident Tuesday for production of child pornography.

Andrés Ruiz-Huertas, 60, was arrested after a referral from the Puerto Rico Police Department to HSI led to the execution of a search warrant during which several digital electronic storage devices were seized.  A preliminary analysis of the materials seized revealed sexually explicit videos of Ruiz-Huertas engaging in sexual acts with multiple minors.

According to one female minor victim, on February 18, 2013, defendant Andres Ruiz- Huertas, who she previously knew from the Las Piedras area, picked her up at the Fajardo Ferry port to drive her to her mother’s residence at Las Piedras, PR.  On the way to her mother’s residence, Ruiz-Huertas told the victim that he had previously engaged in sexual intercourse with three of her female minor friends.  Ruiz-Huertas also told her that he had also engaged in sexual acts with two other minors whom he identified. He then proceeded to show the victim sexually explicit images from a phone described by the minor as a black iPhone with a black cover that he utilized as his personal phone.

The defendant then took the victim to his office, showed her sexually explicit images on his computer and purportedly sexually assaulted her.  Once he dropped her off at her residence, she told her mother what had happened and together they filed a formal complaint with the Puerto Rico Police Department.

Ruiz-Huertas was transferred to the Metropolitan Detention Center in Guaynabo awaiting the outcome of his case. If convicted, he faces a mandatory minimum sentence of 15 years incarceration and a possible maximum statutory sentence of 30 years incarceration.

“The U.S. Department of Justice, through its Project Safe Childhood, will continue prosecuting sexual predators of minors,” said United States Attorney for the District of Puerto Rico, Rosa Emilia Rodriguez.  “The US Attorney’s Office, along with law enforcement agencies in Puerto Rico, will continue to track down these criminals, arrest them and bring them to justice,” said US Attorney Rosa Emilia Rodríguez-Vélez.

“All children have an absolute right to grow up free from the fear of sexual exploitation,” said Angel Melendez, special agent in charge of HSI San Juan. “HSI relentlessly pursues predators who sexually abuse children, whether that abuse is physical in nature or if it's accomplished by exploiting their images. HSI will not tolerate such despicable crimes. Our agents will continue to police cyberspace and target those who exploit the most vulnerable segment of our society -- our children.” 

The case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Marshal D. Morgan.

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 PRCACTF in June 2011.

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 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 1-866-347-2423 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.

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