View Site in:

Press Releases

Cyrus R. Vance, Jr.

District Attorney, New York County

For Immediate Release
June 14, 2011

DA VANCE: 26 CHARGED FOR POSSESSION OF GRAPHIC IMAGES AND VIDEOS OF CHILD SEXUAL ASSAULT

Defendants Include a Substitute Teacher, an Attorney, and Employees of Child-Themed Businesses

Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus R. Vance, Jr., today announced criminal charges against 26 individuals for possession of videos and still images depicting child sexual assault. These defendants, all of whom are Manhattan residents, have been primarily charged with Promoting a Sexual Performance by a Child and Possessing a Sexual Performance by a Child.[1]The arrests follow a 5-month investigation by the Manhattan DA’s Office’s Cybercrime and Identity Theft Bureau, in conjunction with the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations’ Child Exploitation Group.

“These defendants stockpiled images of the brutal rapes and sexual assaults of tens of thousands of real children,” said District Attorney 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.

“The defendants in these cases traded images of child sexual assault the way that others trade baseball cards,” District Attorney Vance continued. “They were curators of their collections, who carefully labeled, sorted and shared their cache with others. At least one of these defendants showed these graphic images of violent sexual assaults to other children in order to desensitize them. In at least two cases, the defendants expressed a desire to begin sexually assaulting children. This Office’s investigation, led by the Cybercrime and Identity Theft Bureau and conducted in partnership with ICE, used specialized technology to locate and identify these predators to stop them in their tracks, before their criminal behavior escalated to physical sexual assault. Anyone concerned about criminal activity related to the possession or dissemination of images of child sexual assault in Manhattan is urged to call the District Attorney’s Office’s Child Abuse Hotline at 212-335-4308.”

James T. Hayes, Jr., special agent-in-charge, ICE Homeland Security Investigations in New York, said: “These predators rob children of their youth. One child victimized by a pedophile is one too many. This joint effort with the Manhattan District Attorney’s Office is a clear indication of HSI's resolve to seek out those who sexually exploit innocent children.”

Michelle Collins, Vice President of the Exploited Children's Division and Assistant to the President, The National Center for Missing and Exploited Children (NCMEC), said: “The National Center for Missing and Exploited Children applauds the Manhattan District Attorney's Office and the New York office of Immigration and Customs Enforcement for their outstanding collaboration during this investigation. The online circulation of these images re-victimizes the children in the photos. Investigations such as this one exemplify law enforcement's commitment to protecting children.”

Parry Aftab, Founder and Director of WiredSafety, said: “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. Any child, from any walk of life, can be victimized this way. And once the image is taken, their pain continues every time someone looks at it or watches their video. DA Cyrus Vance and his amazing team, along with the tireless investigators at ICE, have given some children the chance to sleep safely tonight. On behalf of all the children they have saved from torment and all my volunteers at WiredSafety, I would like to thank them from the bottom of my heart. Our New York laws need to be the toughest in the nation. We need to bring them up to date. I will, personally, support DA Vance in his fight to protect all our children in New York, and everywhere form child molester, online and off.”

What Constitutes an Image of Child Sexual Assault?

Under the New York State Penal Law, “sexual performance” refers to any “play, motion picture, photograph or dance … [or] any other visual representation” that includes sexual conduct by a child less than seventeen years of age. “Sexual conduct” refers to actual or simulated sexual intercourse, deviate sexual intercourse, sexual beastiality, masturbation, sado-masochistic abuse, or lewd exhibition of the genitals. “Promote” means to procure, manufacture, issue, sell, give, provide, lend, mail, deliver, transfer, transmute, publish, distribute, circulate, disseminate, present, exhibit or advertise, or to offer to agree to do the same.

The defendants in these cases used peer-to-peer technology, akin to that popularly used to swap online music and audio files, 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 to teenagers.

The District Attorney’s Office will be giving the images collected as part of this investigation to NCMEC, whose Child Victim Identification Program maintains a database of seized content of this kind. This helps prosecutors around the country prove that a real child is depicted in the images, as required by Ashcroft v. Free Speech Coalition, 535 U.S. 234 (2002), and helps assist law enforcement in locating unidentified child victims.

The Defendants

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 downloaded images of child sexual assault and engaged in online discussions about luring children for the purpose of committing a sexual assault.

According to documents filed in court, GLEN BARFIELD, 39, an architect, is 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.

Several defendants are accused of possessing a vast collection of images of child sexual assault. On May 10, 2011, 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, 2011. 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.

The investigation into these cases is continuing.

Assistant District Attorneys Robert Shull, Jessica Troy, Jeffrey Levinson, Lauren Gretina, Heather Buchanan, Anne-Marie Whelan, Eun-Ha Kim, Rachel Ferrari, Jennifer Fromkin, Emily Logue, Jennifer Sculco, Chevon Walker, Malisa Chokshi, Rachana Pathak, Kevin Wilson, Emily Ching, and Child Abuse Unit Chief Robert Hettleman are prosecuting these cases, under the supervision of Cybercrime and Identity Theft Bureau Chief David Szuchman, Special Victims Bureau Chief Audrey Moore, and Executive Assistant District Attorney Karen Friedman-Agnifilo, Chief of the Trial Division. Chief Investigator John Bilich of the District Attorney’s Investigations Bureau and Deputy Chief Investigator for Cybercrime Richard Brittson also provided valuable assistance with the investigation, along with Supervising Investigator Elena Lui and Investigators Lauren Liebhauser, Jonathan Reid, Robert Muldoon. Members of the District Attorney’s Office’s High Technology Analysis Unit, including Director Steven Moran, Senior Analyst Selena Ley, Analysts David Chan, John Forames, Laurence Hayes and Jessica Ho, as well as Analysts Jasmine Mucha, Zach Greenwood, Erin Mulderig, and Abeer Alkhafajee, and Cybercrime & Identity Theft Bureau Administrator Paula Benigno, also assisted with the case.

District Attorney Vance also thanked Special Agent James T. Hayes, Jr. and ICE Homeland Security Investigations for their assistance in the investigation.

 

The following 17 defendants have been indicted in New York State Supreme Court:

 

GLEN BARFIELD, D.O.B. 1/19/1972

New York, NY

Charges:

  • Promoting a Sexual Performance by a Child, a class D felony, one count
  • Possessing a Sexual Performance by a Child, a class E felony, 23 counts

 

WASHINGTON BAYONA, D.O.B. 8/29/1978

New York, NY

Charges:

  • Promoting a Sexual Performance by a Child, a class D felony, four counts
  • Possessing a Sexual Performance by a Child, a class E felony, four counts

 

FERNANDO BLANCO, D.O.B. 6/20/1974

New York, NY

Charges:

  • Promoting a Sexual Performance by a Child, a class D felony, four counts
  • Possessing a Sexual Performance by a Child, a class E felony, four counts

 

MIGUEL CARABALLO, D.O.B. 10/15/1981

New York, NY

Charges:

  • Promoting a Sexual Performance by a Child, a class D felony, two counts
  • Possessing a Sexual Performance by a Child, a class E felony, two counts

 

BRETT CHARLES, D.O.B. 4/17/1992

New York, NY

Charges:

  • Promoting a Sexual Performance by a Child, a class D felony, three counts
  • Possessing a Sexual Performance by a Child, a class E felony, five counts
  • Criminal Possession of a Controlled Substance in the Fourth Degree, a class C felony, one count

 

ROBERT DILONE, D.O.B. 8/11/1960

New York, NY

Charges:

  • Promoting a Sexual Performance by a Child, a class D felony, five counts
  • Possessing a Sexual Performance by a Child, a class E felony, five counts

 

MOSHE GERSTEIN, D.O.B. 2/5/1976

New York, NY

Charges:

  • Promoting a Sexual Performance by a Child, a class D felony, two counts
  • Possessing a Sexual Performance by a Child, a class E felony, five counts

 

BRET KERVEN, D.O.B. 6/7/1992

New York, NY

Charges:

  • Promoting a Sexual Performance by a Child, a class D felony, three counts
  • Possessing a Sexual Performance by a Child, a class E felony, three counts

 

SEFKET JADADIC, D.O.B. 4/28/1964

New York, NY

Charges:

  • Promoting a Sexual Performance by a Child, a class D felony, five counts
  • Possessing a Sexual Performance by a Child, a class E felony, five counts

 

ANTONIO METZ, D.O.B. 6/13/1982

New York, NY

Charges:

  • Promoting a Sexual Performance by a Child, a class D felony, five counts

 

SERGIO QUITO, D.O.B. 11/17/1974

New York, NY

Charges:

  • Promoting a Sexual Performance by a Child, a class D felony, one count
  • Possessing a Sexual Performance by a Child, a class E felony, three counts

 

JOSHUA RUIZ, D.O.B. 6/6/1979

New York, NY

Charges:

  • Promoting a Sexual Performance by a Child, a class D felony, two counts
  • Possessing a Sexual Performance by a Child, a class E felony, two counts

 

MATTHEW RUNION, D.O.B. 8/16/1976

New York, NY

Charges:

  • Promoting a Sexual Performance by a Child, a class D felony, three counts
  • Possessing a Sexual Performance by a Child, a class E felony, three counts

 

JOHN RYAN, D.O.B. 9/19/1947

New York, NY

Charges:

  • Promoting a Sexual Performance by a Child, a class D felony, three counts
  • Possessing a Sexual Performance by a Child, a class E felony, three counts

 

JUAN SANTIAGO, D.O.B. 8/19/1955

New York, NY

Charges:

  • Promoting a Sexual Performance by a Child, a class D felony, 10 counts
  • Possessing a Sexual Performance by a Child, a class E felony, 10 counts

 

MICHAEL SCHAMIS, D.O.B. 3/21/1986

New York, NY

Charges:

  • Promoting a Sexual Performance by a Child, a class D felony, three counts
  • Possessing a Sexual Performance by a Child, a class E felony, three counts

 

RANDALL SMITH, D.O.B. 11/23/1983

New York, NY

Charges:

  • Promoting a Sexual Performance by a Child, a class D felony, three counts
  • Possessing a Sexual Performance by a Child, a class E felony, three counts

 

The following 8 defendants have been arraigned in Criminal Court in Manhattan:

 

ERICK AQUINO, D.O.B. 5/2/1990

New York, NY

 

SHAWN COMIS, D.O.B. 6/09/1988

New York, NY

 

GERADO MADERA, D.O.B. 11/14/1990

New York, NY

 

RUDY MENA, D.O.B. 1/24/1993

New York, NY

 

EDWIN PADRON, D.O.B. 1/25/1966

New York, NY

 

RADAMES PEREZ, D.O.B. 12/3/1976

New York, NY

 

STEVEN ROMAN, D.O.B. 3/10/1981

New York, NY

 

GAVIN TROUCHET, D.O.B. 10/16/1957

New York, NY

 



 


[1]The charges are merely allegations, and the defendants are presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty.