Former Part-Time Worker with Children’s Movement of Florida Indicted on Federal Child Exploitation Charges
For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, Southern District of Florida
MIAMI – A Miami federal grand jury has charged Rafael Antonio Saldana, 37, of Miami-Dade County, with coercion and enticement of a minor, production of child pornography and attempted coercion and enticement of a minor.
According to the indictment and underlying criminal complaint, law enforcement’s review of a 15-year-old boy’s phone revealed multiple sexually explicit images of the minor victim solicited by Saldana. In the days leading up to July 13, Saldana sent messages to the minor victim’s phone coordinating a time and location for the two to meet. It is alleged that Saldana planned over text to pick up the minor victim at a McDonald’s in Miami, then drive him to Saldana’s home to engage in sexual activity with Saldana and a third, unidentified individual. On July 13, Saldana arrived across the street from the McDonald’s in Miami to meet the minor victim. Law enforcement ultimately placed Saldana under arrest outside of his home.
Prior to his arrest, Saldana worked part-time at the Children’s Movement of Florida, an organization that advocates for early childhood learning opportunities and access to children’s health care.
If convicted, Saldana faces a mandatory minimum of 15 years in prison and up to 30 years in prison on the production of child pornography charge. He faces a mandatory minimum sentence of 10 years in prison and up to a lifetime in prison on the coercion and enticement of a minor and attempted coercion and enticement of a minor charges. If convicted of any of the charges, Saldana faces up to a lifetime of supervised release and will be required to register as a sex offender.
U.S. Attorney Markenzy Lapointe for the Southern District of Florida, Special Agent in Charge Anthony Salisbury of Homeland Security Investigations (HSI), Miami, and Interim Director Stephanie V. Daniels of the Miami-Dade Police Department (MDPD), announced the charges.
HSI Miami and MDPD investigated the case. Assistant U.S. Attorney Audrey Pence Tomanelli is prosecuting the case.
This case was brought as part of Project Safe Childhood (PSC), 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 Criminal Division’s Child Exploitation and Obscenity Section, Project Safe Childhood marshals federal, state, and local resources to locate, apprehend and prosecute individuals, who sexually exploit children, and to identify and rescue victims. For more information about the Project Safe Childhood initiative and for information regarding Internet safety, please visit www.justice.gov/psc.
An indictment contains mere allegations, and all defendants are presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty in a court of law.
Related court documents and information may be found on the website of the District Court for the Southern District of Florida at www.flsd.uscourts.gov or at http://pacer.flsd.uscourts.gov under case number 23-mj-03384.
Public Affairs Unit
U.S. Attorney’s Office
Southern District of Florida
Updated July 27, 2023
Project Safe Childhood