News

Individual Arrested For “Sextortion” In Puerto Rico

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
June 5, 2013

SAN JUAN, Puerto Rico — On Tuesday, June 4, 2013, Jimmy Caraballo-Colón was arrested in Caguas, for coercing a female minor to engage in sexually explicit conduct for the purpose of producing visual depictions of such conduct (production of child pornography), announced Rosa Emilia Rodríguez-Vélez, United States Attorney for the District of Puerto Rico. This arrest followed an investigation from U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) Cyber Crimes Unit in Puerto Rico and Colorado, and officers assigned to the Puerto Rico Crimes Against Children Task Force (PRCACTF).

Jimmy Caraballo-Colón, a 25 years-old summer camp counselor who teaches cheerleading to minors, was engaging in a new modality of sexual blackmailing called “sextortion” with a 17 year-old female minor from the State of Colorado.  According to the investigation, Caraballo-Colón met the minor in an anonymous internet video chat website.  During the chat, Caraballo-Colón offered the minor game “points” for removing her clothes.  The defendant then proceeded to blackmail the minor by threatening to post the nude recording in the internet if the minor did not provide her personal information such as her phone number, email address, Skype address and Facebook account.  Despite the fact that the minor complied with Caraballo-Colon’s request, the “sextortion” escalated as he demanded more sexually explicit acts during the video chats, including masturbation, which he also recorded. 

On June 4, 2013, a Search Warrant was executed at Caraballo-Colon’s residence in Caguas, where he was subsequently detained.  He was charged in a Complaint with production of child pornography.  He was brought before U.S. Magistrate Judge Bruce J. McGiverin for his initial appearance on June 4, 2013 and was ordered temporarily detained.

If convicted, the defendant faces a mandatory minimum sentence of not less than 15 years of incarceration. This case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Elba Gorbea.

“Unfortunately, our community has witnessed a dramatic increase in child pornography and child abuse through the internet.  Predators, often disguised as peers and responsible adults, groom and befriend unsuspecting and innocent child victims to perform sexually explicit acts.” said United States Attorney for the District of Puerto Rico, Rosa Emilia Rodríguez-Vélez.  “Today’s complaint is a strong and clear message to predators and criminals that we will not accept tolerate this conduct ways, and will hunt them down to make sure they face justice and respond for their criminal behavior.  The Federal Law Enforcement Community and the U.S. Attorney’s Office will spare no resources to arrest and prosecute these predators. Nonetheless, the community, teachers and parents must be vigilant and proactive with our children and educate them on the modus operandi of these offenders”

“Child exploitation, in all its forms, must be among the most heinous crimes a person can commit, but when the element of sextortion is part of this unspeakable exploitation, the aberration is even more nauseating and the emotional pain inflicted on the victim is just overwhelming and hard to endure,” said Angel Melendez, special agent in charge of HSI San Juan.  “Make no doubt, HSI will continue utilizing all its resources and, along with our federal, state and local partners, we will continue identifying those who victimize the most vulnerable segment of our society—our children.”

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. 

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