Courtesy of KIK
The men allegedly used the instant messaging mobile application KIK to share images of children as young as 1 engaging in various sexual acts.
By Forum Staff
A Brooklyn man has been charged with possessing numerous images of children under the age of twelve – some as young as one – depicted in a sexual manner or performing sexual acts, following the execution of a court authorized search warrant.
While the internet is a valuable learning tool, it unfortunately is also a doorway for deviant sexual predators who gather to share vile and disturbing videos and photographs of young children being sexually abused,” said Queens District Attorney Richard A. Brown. “It is important for the public to remember that the images and videos being exchanged are, for all intents and purposes, footage of crime scenes as they depict real children being cruelly victimized both physically and emotionally. The victims will have to carry the painful memory of that which occurred to them for the rest of their lives.”
Steven Gallardo, 39, of 14th Avenue in Brooklyn was arraigned last week before Queens Criminal Court Judge Toni Cimino on 61 counts of promoting a sexual performance by a child and possessing a sexual performance by a child and one-count of fifth-degree conspiracy. The defendant was held on $10,000 bail and to return to court on October 9, 2018.
If convicted, he faces up to fifteen years in prison.
According to the complaint, investigators assigned to the New York City Police Department’s Computer Crimes Squad originally investigated a cybertip report from the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children that a Queens man, who was later apprehended, had uploaded images of child pornography to his Google account in 2016. During this wide-ranging investigation law enforcement seized in excess of 5,000 illicit images and videos of minors from the home of that apprehended individual.
The individual, who admitted to knowingly possessing and sharing the data, used his cell phone to trade these images with defendant Gallardo. One of the items recovered from the apprehended other’s cell phone was a conversation from a “KIK” chat that he had with defendant Gallardo, which took place between September 23, 2016, and October 27, 2016. The men allegedly shared images of children as young as one engaging in various sexual acts.
In one specific chat occurring on October 27, 2016, the men discussed their actions. The apprehended male followed up this exchange by sending images containing child abuse images, and asked Gallardo to trade. Gallardo promptly sent the apprehended other an image of a female child who appeared no older than eight engaging in a sexual act with an adult male.
In June 2018, detectives traced the KIK records related to the 2016 exchange to an IP address, and subsequently to the defendant’s place of residence. When confronted by law enforcement officials, the defendant admitted to using KIK to swap pornographic images with the apprehended male and identified the above-referenced photo of the female child. Law enforcement officials obtained the defendant’s permission to perform a forensic examination on electronic items that were later confiscated from the defendant’s home, including his iPhone and iPad, which resulted in the discovery of dozens of additional images of child pornography.