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Press Release

Man Sentenced To 28 Years In Prison For Child Sex Abuse Following Extradition From Spain

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, Western District of Michigan

          GRAND RAPIDS, MICHIGAN — U.S. Attorney for the Western District of Michigan Mark Totten today announced that Kristian Ignacio Feliz, age 24, of Connecticut, was sentenced to 28 years in federal prison for sexually exploiting a child. Feliz was indicted in March 2023, and extradited from Spain to face federal charges in November 2023. In sentencing Feliz, U.S. District Court Judge Jane Beckering emphasized the “manipulative” and violent nature of his crimes, which the Court stated will impact the victim “for the rest of her life.”

          “Every child deserves to grow up safe, healthy, and free from abuse,” said U.S. Attorney Mark Totten. “In this case, a sexual predator living abroad targeted a child in Kalamazoo, traveled here to abuse her, and then left the country. Working closely with state, federal, and international partners, we made sure Feliz was hauled back to Michigan to face justice in our courts. Let today’s sentence serve as a warning that my office takes the protection of children extremely seriously.”

          In October 2022, Feliz was a 23-year-old graduate student in Barcelona, Spain, studying quantum physics. He had also struck up an online relationship with a 12-year-old girl living in Kalamazoo, Michigan. Feliz told the girl that he loved her and called her “my little wife,” while at the same time repeatedly pressuring her to create and send him pornographic videos. Then, in January 2023, Feliz traveled to Kalamazoo and recorded videos of himself abusing the girl in her home over a three-day period. After he left town, Feliz instructed the girl to sell the videos online, and to have the money sent to his accounts.

          “Today's sentencing is a shining example of the brilliant interagency and international coordination between the FBI's Western Michigan Violent Crime Task Force, the Kalamazoo Department of Public Safety, the U.S. Attorney's Office, and the Government of Spain,” said Cheyvoryea Gibson, Special Agent in Charge of the FBI in Michigan. No matter how far away those who commit these crimes may be, we will use all of our available resources to extradite you to the U.S. to face justice.”        

          The U.S. Attorney’s Office worked with the FBI and the U.S. Department of Justice’s Office of International Affairs (OIA) to prepare and submit a request for Kristian Ignacio Feliz’s provisional arrest, with a plan to seek his extradition soon after. U.S. Attorney Totten and Special Agent in Charge of the FBI Michigan Cheyvoryea Gibson extend their appreciation and thanks to Spain’s Ministry of Justice, Spanish National Police, and Guardia Civil.

          This case is part of Project Safe Childhood, a nationwide initiative designed to protect children from online exploitation and abuse. The U.S. Attorney’s Office, county prosecutor's offices, the Internet Crimes Against Children task force (ICAC), federal, state, tribal, and local law enforcement are working closely together to locate, apprehend, and prosecute individuals who exploit children. The partners in Project Safe Childhood work to educate local communities about the dangers of online child exploitation, and to teach children how to protect themselves. For more information about Project Safe Childhood, please visit the following website: Individuals with information or concerns about possible child exploitation should contact local law enforcement officials.

          This case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Patrick Castle, and investigated by the FBI the Kalamazoo Department of Public Safety. The U.S. Department of Justice’s Office of International Affairs and the U.S. Department of State provided critical assistance in securing Feliz’s arrest and extradition.


Updated May 30, 2024

Project Safe Childhood