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Photo via Shutterstock
Photo via Shutterstock

A Rego Park man was arrested for directing women online to abuse children and send him photographs and videos of the abuse in exchange for money, prosecutors announced on Thursday.

Keith Liwanag, 26, was brought before a federal court in Brooklyn on Nov. 9 and charged with conspiracy to produce child pornography.

“The defendant victimized vulnerable children abroad by soliciting photographs and videos of their sexual abuse in exchange for money,” stated Acting United States Attorney Bridget M. Rohde. “The safety and protection of children is a priority for this Office and our law enforcement partners and we will pursue those who would endanger children to the fullest extent of the law.”

According to the complaint, in September and October 2016, Liwanag used a Facebook account to direct women in the Philippines to engage in sexual acts with children in exchange for money. After they would engage in the acts, Liwanag would have the women produce and send child pornography over Facebook’s private messaging service.

On Sept. 8, 2016, Liwanag sent several messages to a woman asking her to sexually abuse a six-year-old boy as part of a “show” in exchange for money. A few days later on Sept. 11, 2016, Liwanag sent and received messages from another woman about “show” with the woman’s son and offered her money to perform a sex act on him.

On Oct. 12, 2016, Liwanag sent a message to a third woman soliciting photographs of the sexual abuse of her child. In response, on Oct. 27, 2016, the woman sent Liwanag two images depicting child abuse.

According to court filings, the evidence obtained during the course of the investigation includes 10 recorded video conferences between Liwanag and women engaged in the sexual abuse of children.

“This individual is alleged to have convinced women overseas to commit sexual acts with children in return for payment,” stated ICE-HSI Special Agent-in-Charge Angel M. Melendez. “His version of a ‘show,’ among other criminal acts against children, allegedly included enticing a mother to sexually abuse her own son for his pleasure. We will be relentless in our pursuit of child predators to ensure they face justice for their unfathomable acts.”

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