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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
District of Puerto Rico

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Friday, October 2, 2015

Male Tourist From Wisconsin Arrested For Sex Trafficking

SAN JUAN, P.R. – United States Magistrate Judge Marcos E. López authorized a criminal complaint charging Joseph Neil Bronson, Jr. with one count of Attempted Sex Trafficking of Children, announced United States Attorney Rosa Emilia Rodríguez-Vélez. Immigration and Customs Enforcement, Homeland Security Investigations (ICE-HSI) is in charge of the investigation.

According to the information contained in the affidavit submitted in support of the criminal complaint, on September 30th, 2015, the defendant responded to an advertisement on an internet-based classified website. The advertisement was listed as an “escort service” specializing in “young girls” in Puerto Rico. Bronson wrote that he liked girls with smaller bodies, who were between the ages of 10 and 12 years of age, for “full service,” and who were clean and shaved. In the communications, Bronson agreed to pay $200.00 an hour for sex with a 12 year old female and offered the place he was staying as the location in which the sex encounter would occur.

On October 1, 2015, HSI agents approached the defendant and placed him under arrest.  Bronson possessed $300.00 in cash and the phone he used to communicate with the person whom he thought was in charge of the minor he was going to have sex with.

“The sexual exploitation of vulnerable individuals is an affront to fundamental rights and will not be tolerated on our Island. The defendant came to Puerto Rico thinking that he could have a sexual rendezvous with a minor. Our attorneys and law enforcement partners will vigorously investigate and prosecute the trafficking of human beings, and will uphold the rights of those subjected to modern-day slavery, whether for labor or for sexual exploitation. The children of Puerto Rico deserve no less,” said Rosa Emilia Rodríguez-Vélez, U.S. Attorney for the District of Puerto Rico.

The case is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Elba Gorbea. If convicted, the defendant is facing a 15 years to life in prison. A criminal complaint contains only charges and is not evidence of guilt. A defendant is presumed to be innocent unless and until proven guilty.

If you have information about any sexual predators in your community or any child exploitation activity call 1-866-347-2423. For more information, visit: www.ICE.gov.

Topic(s): 
Human Trafficking
Project Safe Childhood
Component(s): 
Updated November 30, 2015