Earlier today, in federal court in Brooklyn, Brian Quinones was sentenced by United States District Judge Hector Gonzalez to 15 years in prison for sexually exploiting a child. As part of his sentence, Quinones will be required to register as a sex offender upon his release from prison. Quinones pleaded guilty to the charge in September 2022.
Breon Peace, United States Attorney for the Eastern District of New York, announced the sentence.
“The defendant’s sextortion of a minor is unconscionable, cruel, and deserving of the punishment he received today in order to protect our communities for the lifetime of harm he has inflicted on his victims,” stated United States Attorney Peace. “I urge parents and caregivers to have frank conversations with their children about the dangers of communicating online with strangers who can pretend to be anyone or anything while making inappropriate requests for photos and videos.”
Mr. Peace thanked the Federal Bureau of Investigation, New York Field Office, and the New York City Police Department for their investigative work on the case.
Between September 2019 and January 2020, Quinones, who worked as a paraprofessional (a teaching assistant) at Midwood High School, 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, 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. For example, Quinones discussed an extortion scheme in a series of direct messages with another user on his Twitter account, urging the other user: “Threaten him to do more . . . I like making boys into slaves[.]”
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 handled by the Office’s General Crimes section. Assistant United States Attorney Eric Silverberg is in charge of the prosecution.
Brooklyn, New York
E.D.N.Y. Docket No. 22-CR-218