Brooklyn High School Paraprofessional Charged with Production of Child Pornography and Sextortion Scheme
Defendant Allegedly Enticed a Minor to Send Sexually Explicit Videos on WhatsApp and Threatened to Publicly Release Them – “I’m Ready to Make U Famous. Any Last Words?”
An 11-count indictment was unsealed today in federal court in Brooklyn charging Brian Quinones, a paraprofessional at Midwood High School, with sexual exploitation of a child, distribution of child of pornography, cyberstalking, and related offenses. The charges relate to sexually explicit videos of a child that the defendant allegedly requested and received from a boy he met over the Internet, as well as other sexually explicit images and videos that the defendant possessed and distributed. Quinones was arrested today and is scheduled to be arraigned this afternoon before United States Magistrate Judge Peggy Kuo.
Breon Peace, United States Attorney for the Eastern District of New York, Michael J. Driscoll, Assistant Director-in-Charge, Federal Bureau of Investigation, New York Field Office (FBI), and Keechant L. Sewell, Commissioner, New York City Police Department (NYPD), announced the arrest and charges.
“As alleged, Quinones was a prolific trader of child pornography who posed as a woman in order to solicit sexually explicit videos from a minor boy, then blackmailed the victim with cruel threats to post the material on the Internet,” stated United States Attorney Peace. “This Office is working diligently with our law enforcement partners to address the online exploitation of minors and protect our children from predators like Quinones. Today’s prosecution should also serve as a reminder to parents and caregivers to remain vigilant about your children’s communications over the Internet and the importance of educating our children about the dangers of communicating online with strangers.”
Mr. Peace thanked the FBI/NYPD Child Exploitation and Human Trafficking Task Force for its investigative work on the case.
“Sexual predators often prey on the terror children experience when they are coerced and manipulated into creating explicit photos and videos,” stated FBI Assistant Director-in-Charge Driscoll. “We allege Quinones threatened to expose the images his victim created if the child didn't continue to send him more. Children often fear going to an adult to report what's happened because they're humiliated, and they believe the threats. The FBI Child Exploitation and Human Trafficking Task Force believes Quinones may have more victims, and we ask anyone with information to contact us at 1-800-CALL-FBI or tips.fbi.gov so we can hold him fully accountable for his actions.”
“Any kind of sexual exploitation of a minor is absolutely detestable behavior,” stated NYPD Commissioner Sewell. “But when the suspect has also been entrusted with our communities’ children, it is especially disturbing. Decades ago, predators would go to a playground or a park to find young victims. Now, there’s an entire virtual world full of potential targets. These types of crimes have devastating effects on children and their families, and I commend and thank all of the investigators at the NYPD, FBI, and the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District who are dedicated to identifying and bringing to justice those who commit such offenses.”
As set forth in court filings, between September 2019 and January 2020, Quinones used an instant messaging mobile application to trade dozens of videos and images depicting child pornography with another individual who has since been charged with child pornography-related offenses. Following a court-authorized search of Quinones’s residence and the seizure of his electronic devices, FBI Special Agents discovered a series of sexually explicit messages between Quinones, who was impersonating a woman, and a minor male victim (John Doe), who Quinones lured into creating and sending sexually explicit videos. Quinones then threatened to post the victim’s material on the Internet unless the victim agreed to make additional sexually explicit content. The defendant stated in a WhatsApp message: “I got everything you sent,” adding that he would “ruin” John Doe. The defendant directed John Doe to do “[e]verything I tell u to do” and to “behave.” He then wrote, “Get on your hands and knees.” When John Doe declined to do so, the defendant threatened, “I’m ready to make u famous[.] Any last words?’
If convicted of sexual exploitation of a child, Quinones faces a mandatory minimum of 15 years’ imprisonment.
The charges in the indictment are merely allegations, and the defendant is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty.
This prosecution is 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 United States Attorneys’ Offices and the Department of Justice Child Exploitation and Obscenity Section, Project Safe Childhood marshals federal, state and local resources to better locate, apprehend and prosecute individuals who exploit children via the Internet, as well as to identify and rescue victims. For more information about Project Safe Childhood, please visit www.projectsafechildhood.gov.
The government’s case is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Eric Silverberg.
Sheepshead Bay, Brooklyn
E.D.N.Y. Docket No. 22-CR-218 (HG)