Project Safe Childhood (PSC), is a Department of Justice initiative designed to protect children from online exploitation and abuse.
As technology advances and as the Internet becomes more accessible, the number of computer-facilitated sexual exploitation crimes committed against children - including child pornography offenses and enticement crimes - is expected to continue to grow. Introduced in February 2006, the goal of Project Safe Childhood is to enhance the national response to this growing threat to America's youth.
- Possessing a photograph of a child less than 18 years of age with sexual content on a computer or cellular phone entails a sentence up to 10 years in prison.
- If a person posts an image on the Internet, sends an image through email, or downloads an image from the Internet containing child pornography, he/she will be exposed to a minimum sentence of 5 years and up to a maximum of 20 years in prison.
- By taking a sexually explicit photograph or video of a minor, or convincing a minor to take said photograph, or if a person convinces a minor to project themselves using a webcam to conduct in a sexually explicit manner, he/she will be exposed to a minimum sentence of 15 years and up to a maximum of 30 years in prison.
“Proyecto Salva tu Niñez”
The Assistant United States Attorney that works with these types of cases has expanded the “Project Safe Childhood” (PSC) — known in Puerto Rico as “Proyecto Salva tu Niñez” — to include issues related to non-Internet-related sexual-exploitation crimes against children. These include crimes such as domestic prostitution of children and international travel for sex with children, as well as unregistered child sex offenders.
Title 18 U.S.C. § 2423 was passed as part of the White Slave Traffic Act, also known as the Mann Act. The transportation across state lines is not an essential element for a conviction under 19 U.S.C. 2423 from acts that take place wholly within the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico, insofar as it was Congress’ express intent to prohibit transportation of minors for an illicit sexual purpose even if the act occurs wholly within the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico.
The Mann Act currently contains four sections, each of which punishes a different activity connected with prostitution, illicit sexual conduct and travel.
Title 18 U.S.C. § 2421, which provides in pertinent part that:
Whoever knowingly transports any individual in interstate or foreign commerce, or in any Territory or Possession of the United States, with intent that such individual engage in prostitution, or in any sexual activity for which any person can be charged with a criminal offense, or attempts to do so [shall be guilty of an offense against the United States].
Title 18 U.S.C. § 2422, which provides in pertinent part that:
(a) Whoever knowingly persuades, induces, entices, or coerces any individual to travel in interstate or foreign commerce, or in any Territory or Possession of the United States, to engage in prostitution, or in any sexual activity for which any person can be charged with a criminal offense, or attempts to do so [shall be guilty of an offense against the United States].
Title 18 U.S.C. § 2423, which provides in pertinent part that:
(a) Transportation with intent to engage in criminal sexual activity.--A person who knowingly transports an individual who has not attained the age of 18 years in interstate or foreign commerce, or in any commonwealth, territory or possession of the United States, with intent that the individual engage in prostitution, or in any sexual activity for which any person can be charged with a criminal offense, [shall be guilty of an offense against the United States].
Title 18 U.S.C. § 2424, which provides in pertinent part that:
(a) Whoever keeps, maintains, controls, supports, or harbors in any house or place for the purpose of prostitution, or for any other immoral purpose, any individual, knowing or in reckless disregard of the fact that the individual is an alien, shall file with the Commissioner of Immigration and Naturalization a statement in writing setting forth the name of such individual, the place at which that individual is kept, and all facts as to the date of that individual's entry into the United States, the port through which that individual entered, that individual's age, nationality, and parentage, and concerning that individual's procuration to come to this country within the knowledge of such person; and
The U.S. Attorney’s Office (USAO) for the District of Puerto Rico has supplemented its enforcement efforts by working with its Community Outreach Partner, “Alianza para un Puerto Rico sin Drogas” (Alliance for a Drug-Free Puerto Rico), which is dedicated to preventing drug use and trafficking among children. They run workshops for children and have worked hard to get their message out through public information and media campaigns.
“Puerto Rico Crimes Against Children Task Force” (PRCACTF)
In response to the need of an island-wide approach to fighting the escalation of predatory crimes against children, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement's (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) has partnered with members of local, state and federal law enforcement, and as well as local and state government officials, and community leaders, to form the "Puerto Rico Crimes Against Children Task Force" (PRCACTF).
Through PRCACTF, federal, local and state law enforcement agencies will pool their resources to jointly investigate all crimes committed against children in Puerto Rico. Task Force members will be encouraged to share evidence, ideas and investigative and forensic tools to ensure the most successful prosecutions possible. As such, PRCACTF will allow law enforcement to speak with a unified voice to defend the children of Puerto Rico.
The PRCACTF is composed of the following federal and state agencies:
- U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE)
- U.S. Attorney's Office
- U.S. Marshals Service
- Puerto Rico Department of Justice
- Puerto Rico Department of Education
- Puerto Rico Department of Consumer Affairs (DACO)
- Puerto Rico Department of the Family
- Puerto Rico Department of Treasury (Hacienda)
- Puerto Rico Police Department
- Puerto Rico Forensic Science Institute (ICF)
- San Juan Police Department
ICE encourages the public to report suspected child predators and any suspicious activity through its toll-free hotline at 1-866-DHS-2ICE. This hotline is staffed around-the-clock by investigators.
Suspected child sexual exploitation or missing children may also be reported to the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children, an Operation Predator partner, at 1-800-843-5678 or http://www.cybertipline.com.
- National Project Safe Childhood
- National Center for Missing and Exploited Children
- National Sex Offender Public Website
- Report Cases of Child Exploitation
- Amber Alert
- Crimes Against Children Research Center (UNH)
- Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force Program
- Child Exploitation/Operation Predator
Internet Safety Links
- Alianza para un Puerto Rico sin Drogas
- Convicted Sexual and/or Child Abuse Offenders Registry – Puerto Rico
- Puerto Rico Police Department