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Press Release

Long Island Pastor Charged With Sexual Exploitation of Children, Coercion and Distribution Of Child Pornography

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, Eastern District of New York

Jose Saez, Jr., a pastor at a church located in Brentwood, will be arraigned this afternoon at the federal courthouse in Central Islip on an indictment charging him with sexual exploitation of children, coercion and enticement of children, distribution of child pornography, and possession of child pornography.  Saez was arrested on a complaint on September 28, 2023 and has been detained pending trial.  Today’s arraignment will be held before United States Magistrate Judge James M. Wicks.   

Breon Peace, United States Attorney for the Eastern District of New York, and James Smith, Assistant Director-in-Charge, Federal Bureau of Investigation, New York Field Office (FBI), announced the indictment. 

 “As alleged, despite the trust and respect placed in him by his community and his congregation, the defendant verbally abused children online and attempted to persuade minors to produce sexually explicit photographs and videos of themselves and send them to him via the internet,” stated United States Attorney Peace.  “Protecting children from predators and those who sexually exploit them will always be a priority of this Office.” 

Mr. Peace thanked the Suffolk County Police Department for their assistance with the case.

“When you go to church you expect to be safe and protected...but that's not what members of Pastor Jose Saez's congregation got. He allegedly possessed child pornography and sexually abused multiple children. This is unfathomable to the families and caused lasting harm to the children. The men and women of the FBI's Long Island Child Exploitation Task Force work tirelessly to protect our children but bad people are still out there. If anyone has any information on Saez or think they know someone who may be a victim, please call law enforcement,” stated FBI Assistant Director-in-Charge Smith.

As set forth in court filings, while employed as a pastor at a church located in Brentwood, New York, Saez allegedly used an encrypted messaging service to engage in sexually explicit conversations with minors and with a law enforcement officer acting in an undercover capacity (the UC).  In August of 2023, Saez had online conversations with the UC.  During those conversations, the defendant stated that he had sexually abused an infant, that his “sweet spot” for molesting children was children between the ages of 11 and 15, and that he was able to find his younger victims at “church.” Pursuant to a court-authorized search, FBI agents recovered numerous images and videos of child pornography from the defendant. 

Anyone with information about sexual exploitation by the defendant is asked to contact the FBI at or 212-384-1000.

The charges in the indictment are allegations, and the defendant is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty.  If convicted, Saez faces a mandatory minimum sentence of 15 years in prison and up to 30 years in prison.

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

The government’s case is being prosecuted by the Office’s Long Island Criminal Division.  Assistant United States Attorneys Mark E. Misorek and Adam R. Toporovsky are in charge of the prosecution. 

The Defendant:

Age:  28
Brentwood, New York

E.D.N.Y. Docket No.: 23-CR-480 (JMA)


John Marzulli
Danielle Blustein Hass
United States Attorney’s Office
(718) 254-6323

Updated December 6, 2023

Project Safe Childhood