News

Bronx After-School Worker Charged With Producing Child Porn, Molesting Kids

TRI-STATE NEWS HEADLINES

From our newsroom to your inbox weekday mornings at 9AM.
Sign Up

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — A 22-year-old man who worked for the past three years at an after-school program in the Bronx is facing federal charges for producing and distributing child pornography.

As WCBS 880’s Irene Cornell reported, Rene Cardona, 22, is also charged with having inappropriate sexual conduct with children he mentored at Betances Summer Camp and Betances Community Center.

According to an indictment, Cardona began chatting in February over the Internet with an 11-year-old boy living in Guam. Cardona was allegedly aware of the child’s age and persuaded him to take sexually explicit photos of himself and send them to him.

Cardona did the same, sending photos of himself to the boy, authorities said.

The suspect pleaded not guilty Wednesday as a dozen friends and family members, some of them weeping, looked on in the courtroom, Cornell reported.

“The exploitation of children is always distressing, but especially so when the accused has been entrusted to protect and mentor children,” said U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara.

Cardona faces a mandatory minimum sentence of 15 years in prison if convicted.

His case is separate from the 71 arrests made in a child porn sting that was announced by officials Wednesday.

You May Also Be Interested In These Stories