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Press Release

Double A Baseball Player Hector Jomar Ponce- Rijo Arrested On Child Pornography Charges

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, District of Puerto Rico

SAN JUAN, Puerto Rico – Today federal authorities arrested Héctor Jomar Ponce-Rijos charging him with child pornography, announced United States Attorney Rosa Emilia Rodríguez-Vélez. U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) conducted the investigation that led to the arrest.

A federal grand jury in the District of Puerto Rico returned a six count indictment against baseball player Héctor Jomar Ponce-Rijos charging him with production of child pornography, sexual enticement of a minor, transportation of a minor with intent to engage in criminal sexual activity and forfeiture allegation related to production of child pornography and sexual enticement and transportation of a minor. Ponce-Rijos was arrested at his residence in Toa Baja by HSI special agents. According to the charging documents, Ponce-Rijos transported a 13-year-old female minor with the intent to engage in sexual activity, made sexually explicit approaches and requested sexually explicit images and videos from the minor. According to the investigation on May 30, 2016, the defendant transported the female minor to a desolated baseball field and had sexual relations with the minor. On two other occassions Ponce-Rijos transported the minor to a motel in the Municipality of Utuado to have sexual relations with her.

“Child pornography will not be tolerated. Our prosecutors and law enforcement partners will continue vigorously investigate and prosecute the abuse that these victims suffer at the hands of these criminals,” said Rosa Emilia Rodríguez-Vélez, U.S. Attorney for the District of Puerto Rico.

Héctor Jomar Ponce-Rijos is scheduled to appear before U.S. Magistrate Judge Silvia Carreño today for his initial appearance, after which he will be transferred to the Guaynabo Metropolitan Detention Center awaiting a detention hearing.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Elba Gorbea is prosecuting the case. If convicted defendant faces a mandatory minimum term of 15 years in prison. An indictment contains only charges and is not evidence of guilt. Defendant is presumed to be innocent until and unless proven guilty.

This investigation was conducted under HSI’s Operation Predator, an international initiative to protect children from sexual predators. Since the launch of Operation Predator in 2003, HSI has arrested more than 12,000 individuals for crimes against children, including the production and distribution of online child pornography, traveling overseas for sex with minors, and sex trafficking of children

HSI encourages the public to report suspected child predators and any suspicious activity through its toll-free Tip Line at 1-866-DHS-2-ICE or by completing its online tip form. Both are staffed around the clock by investigators. From outside the U.S. and Canada, callers should dial 802-872-6199. Hearing impaired users can call TTY 802-872-6196. 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-THE-LOST.

For additional information about wanted suspected child predators, download HSI’s Operation Predator smartphone app (link is external) or visit the online suspect alerts page. HSI is a founding member and current chair of the Virtual Global Taskforce (link is external), an international alliance of law enforcement agencies and private industry sector partners working together to prevent and deter online child sexual abuse.

Updated April 24, 2017

Project Safe Childhood