23 September 2004 LAWFUEL – Best law news, criminal law,…

23 September 2004 LAWFUEL – Best law news, criminal law, attorney, law firm & legal newsMarcos Daniel Jiménez, United States Attorney for the Southern District of Florida; Christopher A. Wray, Assistant Attorney General, Criminal Division, U.S. Department of Justice; James K. Belz, Inspector in Charge, United States Postal Inspection Service; Jesus Torres, Special Agent in Charge, Bureau of Immigration and Customs Enforcement; Lt. Kevin Butler, Head of the Law Enforcement Against Child Harm (LEACH) Task Force; and Frances Taylor, Assistant Secretary of State for Diplomatic Security, announced today that United States District Court Judge Cecilia M.
Altonaga sentenced defendant, Angel Rafael Mariscal, in Miami, Florida, to one
hundred (100) years in prison for his sexual abuse of children for the purpose of
producing and distributing child pornography.

The defendant was convicted on all counts in a two (2) day trial that began on
April 12, 2004. Those counts were conspiracy to produce child pornography, in
violation of 18 U.S.C. § 2251(d); importation of child pornography into the United
States, in violation of 18 U.S.C. § 2260; distribution of child pornography, in
violation of 18 U.S.C. § 2251(c)(1)(A); advertising child pornography, in violation
of 18 U.S.C. § 2252A(a)(1); and possession with intent to sell child pornography,
in violation of 18 U.S.C. § 2252A(a)(4)(B).

At trial, the government presented evidence that the defendant traveled repeatedly
to Ecuador and Cuba, where he produced and manufactured child pornography. The
defendant videotaped himself sexually abusing minors, some under the age of twelve
(12), for at least seven (7) years. More than one hundred (100) victims were
filmed exposing their genitals and/or engaging in sexual activity with the
defendant and at least two (2) adult female co-conspirators. With the assistance
of the Diplomatic Security Service of the Department of State and the United States
Interest Section in Havana, Cuba, the government was able to identify and obtain
birth certificates from Cuban officials for some of the victims depicted in the
videotapes. Co-conspirators were arrested in both Cuba and Ecuador.

At today’s sentencing hearing, additional evidence was presented revealing that the
defendant had engaged in unprotected sexual conduct with children knowing he was
HIV positive. The defendant was diagnosed with HIV in 1994, and the government
presented images of the defendant’s sexual abuse of minors thereafter. The
evidence presented at sentencing was that the defendant engaged in the sexual abuse
of children ranging in age from approximately nine (9) to eighteen (18) years
without ever using a condom. While none of the victims have tested HIV positive,
the
government argued that the defendant’s heinous conduct of exposing these minors to
HIV warranted an increased sentence.

The defendant videotaped the children using a camcorder, imported the camcorder
tapes, and reproduced them onto CD-Roms or VHS tapes in Miami. The defendant
distributed the CD-Roms and VHS tapes throughout the United States by mail or
Federal Express. He would advertise these items by mail. In 2002, the child
pornography sold for anywhere from $595 to $995 per item. Customers also were
given the option of writing their own fantasy script. At trial, evidence was
presented that at least forty (40) buyers were identified. A former firefighter,
who was convicted in the Northern District of Florida for receiving child
pornography, testified that he had purchased over $13,000 in child pornography from
the defendant’s operation in one three (3) month period. As a result of the
defendant’s arrest, customers across the country were targeted in a national
operation coordinated by the Postal Inspection Service and United States Department
of Justice, Child Exploitation and Obscenity Section.

During September 2002, the defendant was running his operation out of a hotel room
in Miami Beach. Thousands of images of child pornography contained on videotapes,
CD-Roms, and computer media were seized from the defendant’s hotel room on
September 13, 2002, the date of the defendants’ arrest. Five (5) months earlier,
on April 19, 2002, a Postal Inspector in Michigan executed a federal search warrant
in a residence in search of child pornography. In the residence, law enforcement
discovered an envelope containing child pornography and an order form for CD-ROMS,
videotapes, and photo albums containing child pornography with an address of a
private mail box in Miami. This information was forwarded to the Postal Inspection
Service, Miami Division, and an investigation ensued, which ultimately led to the
defendant’s.

“For years, the defendant inflicted despicable harm on young, innocent victims,”
said Mr. Jiménez. “I am grateful that Judge Altonaga agreed with our
recommendation of a 100 year prison sentence. Predators of this type are now on
notice that their horrible crimes will be severely punished. I am very proud of
the work that the prosecutors and our law enforcement partners did in this case.”

“Convicted child pornographer Angel Rafael Mariscal posed a deadly threat to
children and to the community at large,” said Mr. Wray. “While it’s hard to
imagine a sentence severe enough to serve justice for these despicable crimes, the
100-year prison sentence handed down today ensures that Mariscal will never again
be able to sexually abuse innocent children.”

“The seriousness of the offenses in this case cannot be overstated,” said Del
Alvarez, United States Postal Inspector. “This case is a tribute to the
extraordinary efforts of various law enforcement agencies and reflects the success
that law enforcement can have when working together.”

“There is not enough justice to give this individual what he deserves for the
horrible crimes that he committed,” said Mr. Torres. “Thankfully, the law
enforcement teams were able to stop this predator and bring him to justice.”

Mr. Jiménez commended the investigative efforts of the United States Postal
Inspection Service, Bureau of Immigration and Customs Enforcement, and Law
Enforcement Against Child Harm (LEACH) Task Force. The case was prosecuted by
Assistant United States Attorney Barbara Martinez Wright and Department of Justice
Trial Attorney, Child Exploitation and Obscenity Section, David Szuchman.

A copy of this press release may be found on the website of the United States
Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of Florida at www.usdoj.gov/usao/fls
. Related court documents and information may be
found on the website of the District Court for the Southern District of Florida at
www.flsd.uscourts.gov
or on
.