Long Island Pastor Charged With Sexual Exploitation of Children
Long Island Pastor Charged With Sexual Exploitation of Children, Coercion and Distribution Of Child Pornography
Federal prosecutors have charged Long Island Pastor Jose Saez, Jr. with sexual exploitation of children and coercion. Authorities have also charged him with enticement of children and distribution of child pornography. In addition, they have also charged him with possession of child pornography.
Police arrested Saez on September 28, 2023. They have detained him pending trial.
Breon Peace, United States Attorney for the Eastern District of New York Breon Smith said in a statement:
“As alleged, despite the trust and respect placed in him by his community and his congregation, the defendant verbally abused children online and attempted to persuade minors to produce sexually explicit photographs and videos of themselves and send them to him via the internet. Protecting children from predators and those who sexually exploit them will always be a priority of this Office.”
Mr. Peace Also thanked the Suffolk County Police Department for their assistance with the case.
Members of Pastor Jose Saez’s congregation expected to safe and protected. However, that is not what the children of the congregation got. He allegedly possessed child pornography and sexually abused multiple children of the congregation.
Police allege Saez used encrypted messaging services to send sexually explicit messages to undercover cops in August 2023.
Saez bragged about sexually abusing an infant in the messages. He also claimed he had a “sweet spot” for molesting between the ages of 11 and 15. In addition, he admitted he was able to find his victims at church.
FBI agents recovered numerous images and videos of child pornography when they searched Saez’s home.
As a result, the court set Saez’s bond at $2.7 million.
If convicted, Saez faces a mandatory minimum sentence of 15 years in prison and up to 30 years in prison.
This prosecution is part of Project Safe Childhood, a nationwide initiative launched in May 2006 by the Department of Justice to combat the growing epidemic of child sexual exploitation and abuse. For more information about Project Safe Childhood, please visit www.projectsafechildhood.gov