Two Individuals Arrested For Child Pornography
SAN JUAN, Puerto Rico — On Friday, May 31, two individuals, Leo de la Rosa-Meran and Marisol Rivera-Casillas, were arrested for child pornography charges on separate incidents, announced Rosa Emilia Rodríguez-Vélez, United States Attorney for the District of Puerto Rico. These two arrests followed investigations from 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).
Leo de la Rosa-Meran, a 45 year-old evangelical preacher, was engaging in sexual explicit telephone conversations with two 17 year-old female minors, both of whom he met through his church. According to the investigation, De la Rosa-Meran had requested nude images from both minors, but only one of them sent nude images of herself upon his request. It is also alleged that De la Rosa-Meran sent both female minors nude images of himself, more specifically photos of his penis. The defendant, who is also the owner of the cheese factory named “Chesso,” located in Rio Piedras, was charged via complaint of Production/Attempted Production of Child Pornography. He was brought before U.S. Magistrate Judge Camille Vélez-Rivé for his initial appearance on Friday afternoon, and was ordered temporarily detained. His detention hearing is scheduled for next Wednesday, June 5, at 9:30 am before Judge Vélez-Rivé.
Defendant Marisol Rivera-Casillas, 36, was arrested late Friday evening, May 31, 2013, after ICE-HSI, received information from Puerto Rico Police Department revealing that Rivera-Casillas was engaging in sexual explicit acts with a nine year-old male minor, and was filming it using her cell phone camera.
Rivera-Casillas was brought before U.S. Magistrate Camille Vélez-Rivé for her initial appearance today, upon which she was ordered temporarily detained in the Metropolitan Detention Center in Guaynabo awaiting the outcome of her case. The detention hearing was scheduled for Thursday, June 6, 2013.
If convicted, both defendants face a mandatory minimum sentence of fifteen (15) years incarceration and a possible maximum statutory sentence of thrity (30) years incarceration. Both of these cases are being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Marshal D. Morgan.
“It is very troubling that in the District of Puerto Rico, during the first 20 weeks of this year, 21 individuals have been individually arrested for child pornography cases,” said United States Attorney for the District of Puerto Rico, Rosa Emilia Rodríguez-Vélez. “Criminals who prey on children are committing unspeakable acts, causing irreparable harm and robbing the innocent of their innocence, and the U.S. Attorney’s Office, along with the federal and state law enforcement partners, will continue to track down these criminals, arrest them and bring them to justice.”
“Predators who victimize innocent children for selfish gratification must know that we will not rest until they are brought to justice,” said Ángel Meléndez, Special Agent in Charge HSI San Juan. “Words cannot describe the harm that these crimes inflict on children. ICE will continue using its unique immigration authorities to identify and arrest those who present a threat to our community. Those criminals in Puerto Rico involved in these despicable crimes should be on notice because we will find you and bring you to justice.”
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.
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.