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Press Release

Bronx Man Arrested For Production And Possession Of Child Pornography And Enticement Of A Minor

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

Geoffrey S. Berman, United States Attorney for the Southern District of New York, Peter C. Fitzhugh, the Special Agent in Charge of the New York Field Office of Homeland Security Investigations (“HSI”), and James P. O’Neill, the Commissioner of the Police Department for the City of New York (“NYPD”), announced that MICHAEL BARRETO has been arrested for his scheme to produce and possess child pornography, and enticing a minor.  BARRETO was arrested yesterday in the Bronx, New York, and was presented today before United States Magistrate Judge Kevin Nathaniel Fox.

U.S. Attorney Geoffrey S. Berman said:  “As alleged, Michael Barreto groomed his victim by communicating via social media.  He then allegedly lured the teen to his apartment, gave him alcohol and drugs, and then filmed their sexual conduct.  Barreto has been arrested for his crime and faces significant time behind bars where he can no longer harm other children.”

HSI Special Agent in Charge Peter C. Fitzhugh said:  “In a not so chance encounter, Barreto allegedly lured his victim through social media to meet him.  He later filmed himself in a sexual encounter with the child.  This is harsh reminder to all parents about the need to stay involved with a child’s online activities.  HSI and the NYPD are committed to arresting predators like Barreto, those who prey on the young and steal their innocence.  It is equally important to ensure that children understand the dangers that lurk inside the world of the internet.”

NYPD Commissioner James P. O’Neill said:  “The NYPD and its law enforcement partners will never cease efforts to root out those who seek to exploit children, and we urge anyone with information about this despicable case – or any other case – to report it to the NYPD.”

As alleged in the criminal Complaint, which was unsealed today:[1] 

Between November 2017 and July 2019, BARRETO knowingly used a social media platform to communicate with and entice a minor (“Victim-1”).  In July 2019, BARRETO filmed sexual conduct between himself and Victim-1.  When law enforcement officers arrested BARRETO in September 2019 on separate criminal charges, they seized his mobile phone and found the July 2019 video.

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BARRETO, 31, of the Bronx, is charged with one count of sexual exploitation of a child, which carries a minimum sentence of 15 years in prison and a maximum sentence of 30 years in prison; one count of enticement of a minor, which carries a minimum sentence of 10 years in prison and a maximum sentence of life in prison; and one count of possession of child pornography, which carries a maximum sentence of 10 years in prison.  The maximum potential sentences in this case are prescribed by Congress and are provided here for informational purposes only, as any sentencing of the defendant will be determined by a judge.

Any individuals who believe they have information that may be relevant to this investigation should contact the NYPD’s Special Victims Division 24-hour hotline at 212-267-RAPE (7273).

Mr. Berman praised the outstanding work of the NYPD and HSI.

This case is being handled by the Office’s General Crimes Unit.  Assistant United States Attorney Kedar S. Bhatia is in charge of the prosecution.


[1] As the introductory phrase signifies, the entirety of the text of the Complaint and the description of the Complaint set forth herein are only allegations, and every fact described should be treated as an allegation.

Updated October 2, 2019

Project Safe Childhood
Press Release Number: 19-316