Dec 11, 2015 8:08 PM
LIMA, Peru - A native of New Hampshire is under arrest in Peru, charged with offering young children for sex as part of a sex trafficking ring operating out of Lima.
According to the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement, an international task force that included Peruvian authorities rescued 11 child victims, ages 4 to 17, and 25 adult victims.
According to Peruvian authorities, the 4-year-old was being offered for $7,000 in U.S. currency. All the rescued minors are now in the care of Peruvian child welfare services, they said.
Joshua David Brown, 64, was arrested along with five Peruvian accomplices. According to several news outlets, Brown was born in New Hampshire and was living in Lima. His LinkedIn page indicates he is a graduate of the University of Pennsylvania with a masters in international studies and an MBA.
Brown faces criminal charges in Peru for human trafficking of minors, pimping and pandering. If convicted, he faces at least 25 years imprisonment. Brown may also face criminal charges in the United States under the Protect Act, the ICE statement said.
According to CNN, Brown told authorities he's innocent.
"I know exactly what's happening. A person whom I trusted has been trying for weeks to get me in trouble (inaudible)... but I have nothing to do with this," Brown is heard saying in Spanish in the video provided by authorities.
Police say Brown told them he's not a trafficker, although he sometimes acted as matchmaker for American friends visiting from the United States.
"Brown insists that he was not making money doing this. He says that he has some American friends who would visit. He would introduce them to some Peruvian friends, Peruvian girls, little friends, and that in more than one occasion his American friends, who were in a better financial situation, would have a romantic relationship with those little friends and would marry them and go live with them in the United States," Gen. Oscar Gonzales with the Peruvian National Police told CNN.
The Peruvian Attorney General’s Office is handling the prosecution of the case.
Search warrants yielded a large quantity of child pornography, authorities said, along with a gun and narcotics.
“We commend the government of Peru and the PNP (Peruvian National Police) for their swift action in bringing this case to fruition. The children and adults rescued as part of this case lived a horrible nightmare at the hands of these monsters. Our message is clear: if you’re abusing the innocent, we will not rest until you’re found and put behind bars,” Andean region Attaché Luis Sierra said in a statement.
The investigation was conducted under Homeland Security Investigations's Operation Predator, an international initiative to protect children from sexual predators.
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