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Daycare Owner Had 9,800 Child Sex Abuse Images, Including Footage of Himself Abusing Boy

Silfredo Castillo Martinez, 34, has pleaded guilty to sexual exploitation of a child and possession of child pornography after his arrest in 2022

<p>NYPD</p> Silfredo A. Castillo Martinez

NYPD

Silfredo A. Castillo Martinez

A Bronx owner of a children’s daycare facility has pleaded guilty to sexual exploitation of a child and production of child pornography.

Silfredo Castillo Martinez, 34, pled guilty to the charges before a U.S. District Judge on Thursday, Damian Williams, the United States Attorney for the Southern District of New York, stated in a press release. His plea comes two years after he was found with nearly 10,000 images of child pornography at his home in the Bronx, N.Y.

A criminal complaint filed on March 10, 2023, alleged that Martinez engaged in sexually explicit conduct with an 11-year-old minor from around May to July 2018, which he recorded on a camera and his phone.

The alleged abuse took place at a Bronx daycare facility for children which Martinez operated from July 2015 to May 2022.

<p>NYPD</p> Silfredo A. Castillo Martinez faces up to 30 years in prison following his guilty plea to child sex abuse

NYPD

Silfredo A. Castillo Martinez faces up to 30 years in prison following his guilty plea to child sex abuse

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On May 3, 2022, police entered Martinez’s residence with a search warrant where they discovered “several electronic devices” of his containing “several images and a video containing child pornography depicting the minor victim,” the press release states, citing a complaint filed in 2023.

Approximately 9,800 other images of child pornography were also found.

“Silfredo Castillo Martinez exploited the trust placed in him as a daycare provider by sexually abusing one of the minor children under his care and by forcing that child to perform sex acts on him,” U.S. Attorney Damian Williams said, per the release.

“Additionally, Castillo Martinez had nearly 10,000 images depicting child pornography in his possession, all the while caring for children on a daily basis,” Williams continued. “Castillo Martinez’s conduct is reprehensible, and he now faces more than a decade in prison for his crimes.”

Martinez faces a mandatory minimum sentence of 15 years in prison and a maximum sentence of 30 years. He will be sentenced on June 25.

“This investigation highlights the most important function of law enforcement in our society: protecting the vulnerable against criminal predators who would seek to abuse, exploit, and harm them,” NYPD Commissioner Keechant Sewell said in a statement, per NBC New York.

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Patrick Freaney, Special Agent in Charge of the New York Field Office of the United States Secret Service, also commented on the case. “The charges brought forth today allege reprehensible violation and exploitation committed by an individual who was expected to provide extraordinary trustworthiness and protection to the most vulnerable," he told the outlet.

"Our expert investigators and partners assigned to the Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force have successfully brought this individual before our justice system to face these allegations," he added. "I am thankful for their continued dedication and unending work in our shared investigative priority to keep our children safe from harm.”

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