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The Aug. 9 arrest of Isaiah Dejesus-Bazan for allegedly storing more than 17,000 files of child sex abuse material (CSAM) has the potential to lead investigators both to the producers of the content and to the children being victimized.

Dejesus-Bazan, 19, of Mount Pleasant, was charged in Racine County Circuit Court on Aug. 11 with 10 felony counts of possession of child pornography, or CSAM. If convicted, he faces the rest of his life in prison – 250 years – or up to $1 million in fines.

The criminal complaint

According to the criminal complaint, investigators with the Racine County Sheriff’s Office received a tip that Dejesus-Bazan was in possession of CSAM. After they read him his Miranda rights, Dejesus-Bazan gave them access to his email addresses, social media accounts, and passwords as well as his phone. He also admitted to having some 17,500 CSAM files on his phone and a MEGA account.

MEGA is a cloud-storage service based in New Zealand that provides end-to-end encryption where users store files with digital keys. When they share a file, only the people with that key can open the file. An investigator with the Racine County Sheriff’s Office who asked not to be named told Racine County Eye this kind of service is often used by consumers of CSAM because of the security offered.

On Aug. 19, an amended criminal complaint was filed that details a sexual relationship between Dejesus-Bazan and a 14-year-old girl. They communicated via text message and met several times at area locations where Dejesus-Bazan coerced the girl into having sex with him.

According to the amended complaint, the girl told Dejesus-Bazan she was too young and only gave in because Dejesus-Bazan begged her to have sex with him, telling her it was okay if no one knows. During his interview with officers, he admitted to having sex with the girl a handful of times. He also sent the girl at least two videos of himself masturbating.

He was charged with eight additional felonies; three counts of second-degree sexual assault of a child under the age of 16, three counts of using a computer to facilitate a sex crime, and two counts of exposing a child to harmful materials. If convicted of these charges alone, Dejesus-Bazan would face up to an additional 247 years in prison or up to $620,000 in fines.

How investigators follow the trail

The National Center for Missing and Exploited Children (NCMEC) operates a 24/7 CyberTipline where people can anonymously report consumers as well as incidents of abuse. Tips collected are dispersed to the appropriate law enforcement agencies, which is how Dejesus-Bazan landed on the radar in Racine County. NCMEC received more than 29 million tips of 85 million files of CSAM in 2021, up from 21 million reports in 2020, the overwhelming majority of which originated with internet service providers themselves.

Detailed in the criminal complaint against Dejesus-Bazan are 10 images depicting female children, some as young as three, engaged in sexual activity, including oral sex and full penetration, with adult men. The Child Victim Identification Program (CVIP) is available to law enforcement where they can cross-reference images and videos of child victims who have already been identified, or to add the child(ren) to the CVIP.

Like most of the people arrested for possession of child pornography (the legal term), Dejesus-Bazan doesn’t produce the content. Instead, it is shared with him, and he shares it with others. Thus far, there haven’t been any cases of Racine County residents producing CSAM content. Local investigators confirmed information listed on the NCMEC website; the majority of the materials they find on CSAM consumer’s devices come from outside the U.S.

“We haven’t had any perpetrators locally making the kind of videos we find on people’s computers and devices,” the investigator said. “We do have incidents where adult men will take photos of young children in various stages of dress, and we urge anyone aware of this activity to report it immediately.”

Status of Dejesus-Bazan case

At his Aug. 11 initial appearance, Dejesus-Bazan was assigned a $50,000 cash bond and ordered to not have contact with any minor children and to not possess any device that could connect to the internet. He made his initial appearance for the new charges on Aug. 19, and his $50,000 cash bond was reaffirmed.

Dejesus-Bazan was given a public defender and will next be in court on Sept. 16 for a status conference.

To anonymously report someone suspected of collecting, sharing, or producing child sex abuse material, visit the NCMEC CyberTipline, or contact Crime Stoppers by phone at 262-636-9330 or through the Crime Stoppers app or website.


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