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Press Release

HSI Arrest Teacher for Transferring Obscene Material to a Minor and Attempted Receipt of Child Exploitation Material

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

SAN JUAN, Puerto Rico – On Friday, February 10, 2023, Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) arrested an Arecibo man for violation to Title 18, United States Code, Section 2252 (a)(2), which criminalizes the attempted receipt of any visual depiction that involves a minor engaging in sexually explicit conduct and Title 18, United States Code, Section 1470, which criminalizes the transfer of obscene material to a minor. The arrest follows an investigation by HSI, in cooperation with the Puerto Rico Department of Education and the United States Attorney’s Office for the District of Puerto Rico.

According to the indictment, on or about May 17, 2020, Jonathan Ortiz-Medina, 36, did knowingly transfer obscene matter to an individual who had not attained the age of sixteen and attempted to receive from a female minor via messaging services images depicting the minor engaging in sexually explicit conduct.

“As a teacher, the defendant held a position of trust in our society – which he betrayed when he committed the alleged illegal conduct,” said W. Stephen Muldrow, United States Attorney for the District of Puerto Rico.  “We will continue to work with our law enforcement partners to aggressively investigate and prosecute persons who exploit minors for sexual purposes and use technology to further victimize these children.”

“Individuals in positions of trust need to understand that there is no place in our society to abuse that trust and taint the position of our teachers. Our schools have no place for predators, our children need to feel safe at school,” said Acting Special Agent in Charge Rebecca González-Ramos. “To those contemplating abusing positions of public trust, we will continue working with our local and federal partners and using all resources available and robust investigative authorities to identify you, arrest you and prosecute you.”

“The Department of Education will not tolerate any criminal act that affects our school community where an atmosphere of harmony and learning must prevail. We invite any student or employee to report suspicious activity to the social-emotional team, teachers, and security officers in each of our schools,” said Eliezer Ramos Parés, Puerto Rico Department of Education Secretary. “We will continue to collaborate with law enforcement agencies in all investigations, specifically those who threaten our students’ safety.”

On Friday, Ortiz-Medina had his initial hearing before U.S. Magistrate Judge Marcos López. The defendant was transferred to the Guaynabo Metropolitan Detention Center to await further judicial proceedings.

If convicted, Ortiz-Medina faces a statutory minimum sentence of five years up to 20 years of imprisonment followed by a term of supervise release of 5 years up to life for the attempted receipt of child pornography; and up to 10 years imprisonment followed by a term of supervised release of three years for the transfer of obscene material to a minor. A federal district court judge will determine any sentence after considering the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines and other statutory factors.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Jenifer Y. Hernández-Vega, Chief of the Child Exploitation and Immigration Unit is prosecuting the case.

HSI is the principal investigative arm of U.S. Department of Homeland Security and a vital U.S. asset in combatting transnational crime and threats. One of HSI’s top priorities is to protect the public from crimes of victimization, and HSI’s child exploitation investigations program is a central component of this mission. HSI is recognized as a global leader in this investigative discipline.  HSI utilizes its vast authorities, international footprint and strong interagency and public-private partnerships to identify and rescue child victims, identify and apprehend offenders, prevent transnational child sexual abuse and help make the internet a safer place for children.

For more information about HSI’s efforts to protect children from online sexual abuse, visit https://www.ice.gov/topics/iGuardians.

An indictment is merely an allegation and all defendants are presumed innocent until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt in a court of law.

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Updated February 15, 2023

Topic
Project Safe Childhood