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Former Music Teacher Sentenced To 10 Years For Child Exploitation

SAN JUAN, Puerto Rico – Juan Manuel Rivera-Vázquez, a music teacher and former keyboard player of a children’s music group, was sentenced on March 11, 2020, by U.S District Judge Francisco A. Besosa to a term of 10 years in prison, to be served concurrently with a 15-year sentence imposed in State Court, announced United States Attorney for the District of Puerto Rico W. Stephen Muldrow.

Juan Manuel Rivera-Vázquez was charged in a one-count indictment by a federal grand jury in May 2019 with coercion and enticement of minors following a U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) and Puerto Rico Crimes Against Children Task Force’s (PRCACTF) probe. He was arrested by HSI special agents on May 24, 2019, and pleaded guilty to the charge on August 6, 2019.

“This sentence should serve as a sobering warning about the consequences facing child sexual predators who mistakenly believe they can elude detection by coercing their victims,” said U.S. Attorney Muldrow. “The U.S. Attorney’s Office is committed to continuing its collaboration with our state, local and federal partners to locate these offenders and ensure that they are prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law.”

“Sexual exploitation is one of the most depraved crimes committed against humanity, and this case is especially disturbing given Rivera-Vázquez’s position of trust,” said Ivan J. Arvelo, special agent in charge for HSI San Juan “This sentence serves as a reminder that HSI is committed to collaborating with its community partners to bring to justice those who exploit children.” 

Assistant United States Attorney Elba Gorbea and Deputy Chief of the Immigration, Cybercrimes, and Child Exploitation Unit, Nicholas Cannon, were in charge of the prosecution of the case.

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