Lexington police charge 13 people with sex crimes involving children

jmadden@herald-leader.comMarch 14, 2014 

  • Who was charged

    ■ Michael Cissell, 31, is charged with unlawful use of electronic means to procure a minor

    ■ Ruben Hernandez, 20, is charged with sexual misconduct

    ■ Charles Jordan, 32, is charged with possessing and distributing child pornography

    ■ Juan Castro Garcia, 26, is charged with possessing and distributing child pornography

    ■ Rolando Escubar Rivas, 38, faces a pre-existing federal deportation warrant

    ■ Edwin Rivera-Reyes, 27, is charged with possessing and distributing child pornography

    ■ Brian Strong, 27, is charged with possessing and distributing child pornography

    ■ Ishan Al Shahir, 35, is charged with unlawful use of electronic means to procure a minor

    ■ Frankie Garcia, 42, is charged with possessing and distributing child pornography

    ■ The names and ages of the four juvenile were not released. Three of the four were charged with possessing and distributing child pornography. The fourth was charged with possessing child pornography.

    Anyone with additional information about these cases is asked to contact the Lexington Division of Police immediately.

    Tips can be phoned to the Division of Police at (859) 258-3600.

    Source: Lexington Division of Police

  • LEARN MORE

    For more information, visit these websites:

    ■ Division of Police, Lexingtonky.gov

    ■ Prevent Child Abuse Kentucky (PCAK), Pcaky.org

    ■ Kids First, Kidsfirstky.net

    ■ The National Center for Missing & Exploited Children, Missingkids.com/CyberTipline

    ■ Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), fbi.gov/stats-services/publications/parent-guide

    ■ Office For Victims of Crime, ovc.gov

    ■ U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), ice.gov/cyber-crimes

  • ONLINE CHILD SAFETY

    ■ Monitor your child's use of cellphones, iPads, computers, game systems and online devices.

    ■ Permit Internet access in common areas, not in bedrooms or in private.

    ■ Know all of your child's passwords, including screen names for social media accounts.

    ■ Discuss dangers of online interaction. Should be part of daily conversations.

    ■ Make sure your child knows never to meet someone they've met online, and never to send them pictures.

Lexington police on Friday said 13 people had been charged after a six-week undercover investigation led by a newly created Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force. Four juveniles also were charged.

Lexington police Chief Ronnie Bastin said the task force was notified that people were sharing sexually related material through electronics. The department assigned officers from different areas, including traffic. Kentucky State Police and Fayette County Public Schools assisted.

Bastin said sex crimes are prevalent enough that additional manpower will be added for a second phase of the investigation.

Commander Gregg Jones of the Bureau of Investigation said police rescued children and thwarted sexual transactions. Police also confiscated 52 pieces of electronics and more than 1,000 media-related materials that contained child pornography, he said.

Jones did not discuss details of the cases.

The investigations covered three categories:

■ Sharing and distributing;

■ Online solicitation;

■ Sexting and cyberbullying.

During the investigation, police found that elementary students were sexting, and middle- and high-school students were using sexual pictures to bully, shame or intimidate their peers. Investigators noted that those involved with electronic media are getting younger. It is illegal for children to send sexual photos or video of their peers through social media.

Jones said all of the crimes spark concern, but he said he also wanted to "make it clear that if you are a minor and you send nude photos of yourself, it's a crime." Having naked photos of yourself, friends or an underage person is a crime, he said.

"It may not seem like a big deal now, but making a bad choice today could ruin your life," Jones said. "Those photos don't go away; they're out there forever."

Justin Madden: (859) 231-3197. Twitter: @HLpublicsafety

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