Río Piedras Man Charged and Arrested for Child Exploitation

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FILE PHOTO: Signage is seen at the United States Department of Justice headquarters in Washington, D.C.

SAN JUAN, Puerto Rico – United States Magistrate Judge Marshal D. Morgan authorized a criminal complaint against 33 year-old Gilberto E. Raffols-Cuevas, a.k.a. “Tito”, of San Juan, Puerto Rico, with production of child exploitation material, coercion and enticement of a minor, possession of child pornography, and distribution of child pornography, announced W. Stephen Muldrow, U.S. Attorney for the District of Puerto Rico. The arrest follows an investigation by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) with the assistance of the Puerto Rico Police Bureau (PRPB) and the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of Puerto Rico.

According to court documents, from April 1 to April 28, 2022, Gilberto E. Raffols-Cuevas knowingly persuaded, induced, enticed, and coerced a female minor to engage in sexual activity. The man was arrested at his residence without incident.

The criminal complaint alleges that Raffols-Cuevas was having sexually explicit conversations with a 10-year-old female and that Raffols-Cuevas requested naked pictures from her. The victim sent pictures to the defendant and Raffols-Cuevas demanded more pictures and more sexually explicit. When the female minor did not comply, Raffols-Cuevas threatened that he would upload her images to his Instagram accounts and that he would share them with an unimaginable amount of people. The defendant also sent pictures of his penis to the female minor. Since the female minor did not comply with the defendant’s request, he sent pornographic material to another female minor.

Raffols-Cuevas had his initial hearing before U.S. Magistrate Judge Morgan on May 13. He was transferred to the Guaynabo Metropolitan Detention Center awaiting the outcome of his case.

If convicted, Raffols-Cuevas faces a mandatory minimum penalty of 15 years up to 30 years in prison for the production of child exploitation material, and a mandatory minimum of 10 years up to life, followed by a supervised release term up to life. A federal district court judge will determine any sentence after considering the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines and other statutory factors.

Assistant United States Attorney Daynelle M. Álvarez-Lora, of the Child Exploitation and Immigration Unit, is in charge of the prosecution of this case.

HSI is the principal investigative arm of DHS and a vital U.S. asset in combatting transnational crimes 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, and is committed to utilizing its vast authorities, international footprint and strong government and non-government 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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