Dozens arrested in New York, Australia and the UK in crackdown on child sex abuse

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NEW YORK (BNO NEWS) — Dozens of men have been arrested in New York, Australia and the United Kingdom as a result of three separate investigations into child pornography and the sexual exploitation of children, authorities said on Wednesday.

In the United States, the New York County District Attorney’s Office announced that a total of 26 men have been arrested and charged for possession of videos and still images depicting child sexual assault. They are all residents of Manhattan and the arrests follow a 5-month investigation by authorities.


“These defendants stockpiled images of the brutal rapes and sexual assaults of tens of thousands of real children,” said Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus Vance. “These victims were made to engage in physically and psychologically damaging sexual assaults that were recorded and disseminated online, feeding the appetites of pedophiles for more victims. Every time a new image is created, a child is victimized. And every time someone views these images, these children are re-victimized.”

Vance said at least two of those arrested had expressed a desire to sexually assault children, while another person showed child pornography to other children in order to ‘desensitize’ them.

“The defendants in these cases traded images of child sexual assault the way that others trade baseball cards. They were curators of their collections, who carefully labeled, sorted and shared their cache with others,” Vance said, adding that they were caught before their behavior escalated to the physical abuse of children.

Parry Aftab, the founder and director of WiredSafety, said any child is at risk of being victimized. “Behind every single picture of child pornography there is the pain of a child or infant being brutally raped, molested and tortured. As powerful a medium as the Internet has been for good, it is also a tool used by pedophiles and creeps who feed on the pain of our children,” Aftab said.

The defendants in the cases used peer-to-peer technology to download and share images of child sexual assault. The victims in the images charged in this case are both male and female, and range in age from infants – as young as one – to teenagers.

According to documents filed in court, the defendants reside across the borough of Manhattan and work in a range of professions, some of which placed them in frequent contact with children. Joshua Ruiz, 32, who has worked as a substitute teacher in New York City public schools, is charged with Promoting a Sexual Performance by a Child and Possessing a Sexual Performance by a Child, according to documents filed in court. Ruiz allegedly downloaded images of child sexual assault and engaged in online discussions about luring children for the purpose of committing a sexual assault.

Glen Barfield, 39, an architect, was charged with Promoting a Sexual Performance by a Child and Possessing a Sexual Performance by a Child. Barfield shared images of child sexual assault with a 16-year-old boy who lived in Canada using an Internet video chat feature, according to prosecutors.

Several defendants are accused of possessing a vast collection of images of child sexual assault. On May 10, Manhattan District Attorney’s Office investigators and Homeland Security agents executed a search warrant on the home of Moshe Gerstein, 35, a corporate attorney at a New York law firm. Three computers and an external hard drive containing a collection of approximately 5,000 images of child sexual assault were seized in Gerstein’s home. Gerstein is charged with Promoting a Sexual Performance by a Child and Possessing a Sexual Performance by a Child, according to his indictment.

Additionally, Miguel Caraballo, 29, a dishwasher at a restaurant that caters to children, was found in possession of hundreds of computer files containing images of child sexual assault following the execution of a search warrant on March 24. According to documents filed in court, the files in Caraballo’s computer were sorted according to age, with some folders for children as young as one year old. Caraballo is charged with Promoting a Sexual Performance by a Child and Possessing a Sexual Performance by a Child.

Other arrests included Steven Roman, 30, an employee at a children’s shoe store, Sergio Quito, 36, a deli worker, Juan Santiago, 55, a drug store employee, Fernando Blanco, 36, a security guard, and Sefket Jadadic, 47, an Upper East Side building superintendent.

Meanwhile, in Australia, federal police announced the discovery of an online network that allegedly shared child pornography. A total of 11 men between the ages of 18 and 67 were arrested and subsequently charged in the nationwide operation.

“Over the past five months, the Australian Federal Police’s (AFP) Child Protection Operations teams have executed search warrants across four Australian states. A total of 11 people have been charged with the sexual exploitation of children,” said AFP Commander Grant Edwards. “Storage devices including hard drives, USBs, smartphones, laptop computers, as well as other routers were seized.”

The devices seized are alleged to contain thousands of images and videos of child pornography. “During the operation, the AFP identified two children at risk and they have been removed from harm,” Edwards said.

According to police, AFP investigators used a covert account to identify those who were accessing the images. “This operation shows that if you access child sexual abuse images you will be investigated, charged and could face serious prison terms. The images accessed are of real children being abused and it’s a shocking thing,” Edwards added.

In the United Kingdom, Greater Manchester Police (GMP) announced the arrests of twelve people as the result of an investigation into child sexual exploitation. With more than 100 detectives involved, it was the largest ever investigation carried out by the GMP’s Major Incident Team (MIT).

“I hope today’s action shows people in Greater Manchester that the issue of sexual exploitation is one that we take extremely seriously,” said Assistant Chief Constable Terry Sweeney. “This is the largest ever operation carried out by the Major Incident Team and we have had dozens of detectives, including a team from Stockport, working on this investigation.”

Sweeney said a number of teenage girls from Stockport had been the victim of sexual exploitation by the men, although few details were released. “It is believed there could ultimately be more victims in this case and officers now want to hear from anyone else who thinks they may have been sexually exploited,” he said.

The men were all arrested on suspicion of trafficking within the United Kingdom for the purposes of sexual exploitation, but were later released on bail until September. “I want to reassure the people of Greater Manchester that we have a number of operations currently targeting this kind of criminal behavior. I cannot go into details as that could jeopardize the operations, but people need to know this issue is at the top of GMP’s priorities,” Sweeney warned.

According to a 2005 U.S. study commissioned by the National Juvenile Online Victimization (NJOV), 40 percent of those arrested on child pornography possession were also found to have sexually abused children and around 80 percent of them had images of pre-pubescent children.

(Copyright 2011 by BNO News B.V. All rights reserved. Info: sales@bnonews.com.)

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  • Anonymous

    Should we necessarily convict someone who has fantasies of sex with children even if they have never perpetrated them? And how much does this change when they are found to be in possession of said images? After all they did not produce the material nor star in it- but in a roundabout way their desire for such material feeds the demand for others to perpetrate this crime.

    But perhaps the biggest question may be why do certain individuals have such desires? Shouldn’t moral aptitude guide them otherwise- or this a situation beyond morality?

    http://scallywagandvagabond.com/2011/06/child-pornography-bust-includes-images-of-children-as-young-as-3-being-raped-in-a-bathtub/

  • Anonymous

    Should we necessarily convict someone who has fantasies of sex with children even if they have never perpetrated them? And how much does this change when they are found to be in possession of said images? After all they did not produce the material nor star in it- but in a roundabout way their desire for such material feeds the demand for others to perpetrate this crime.

    But perhaps the biggest question may be why do certain individuals have such desires? Shouldn’t moral aptitude guide them otherwise- or this a situation beyond morality?

    http://scallywagandvagabond.com/2011/06/child-pornography-bust-includes-images-of-children-as-young-as-3-being-raped-in-a-bathtub/

  • brbos

    Scallywag, If anyone in this world went through this horrific experience and then they themselves do this, I do not feel any type of remorse for them whatsoever. Good question, why do these “people” have these desires. Whatever the case may be children are innocent, there is no rhyme or reason why any adult should want to have any sexual contact with an innocent little person. My heart goes out to these poor kids. I don’t understand why so much mercy is given to these “people” and sending them to jail/given parole/out on bail. There should be a worldwide precedent to execute anyone harming a child. It is unforgivable.

  • Wolftone57

    The paedophile who is at the heart of most of the type of Child Abuse that occurs in these circumstances does not believe they are doing anything wrong. They believe and certainly will produce evidence in the form of child compliance and bonding to prove their case. The floor in their argument is always that the child is not an equal partner in the transaction and doesn’t have any power in the relationship.

    The fact that they would share images of the child without consulting the child (not that the child has any choice) tells a big story. They consider the child a prize or an attraction to be exploited to increase their popularity among their piers. The Child Porn Network is much more malignant and continues to produce even though the people who have produced the porn and distributed it to the porn sites are in gaol.

    Intapol clip the ears of the Child Porn Network by closing down a site or three and tomorrow the same material appears on a new site. Recently a collage of the most heinous child porn has appeared on a myriad of link sites on at least 20 different web addresses all pertaining to one true address. The material is the worst of all the child porn ever produced on one site under a myriad of different addresses and this is still going on even though the majority of the people who produced material for these sites are now in gaol or facing charges.

    ACMA in Australia would have to be the most incompetent bunch of bastards ever to watch a Web site or in league with the paedophiles. I have given them so many web addresses and am sure on at least two occasions they did not take my concerns seriously. I was told there was no child porn on any of the 40 or so link pages & web addresses that were hosting CP that I gave them. An officer from the South Australian Child Protection Task Force agreed there was a case to be answered in these sites and it was him who put me on to ACMA. ACMA decided there was nothing on these sites and yet they contained some of the most graphic child porn images on the net. These images were of children so young they were in the cot.

    I therefore built up a disrespect for ACMA and I also distrust them. I report everything to Anti-Child Porn.Org. Even though no-one answers my emails I think someone is monitoring these posts as some of the sites have been closed down and a couple of the people who I reported from IMSGRC.RU were arrested. I want to be at the site of a major Child Porn Arrest and tell the bastards just how much damage they do to young people.