FROM THE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT FOR THE DISTRICT OF
PUERTO RICO [Hon. Aida M. Delgado-Colón, U.S. District
Jay Black, for appellant.
Christopher J. Smith, Attorney, Appellate Section, Criminal
Division, U.S. Department of Justice, with whom Rosa Emilia
Rodríguez-Vélez, United States Attorney,
Mariana E. Bauzá-Almonte, Assistant United States
Attorney, Chief, Appellate Division, and Franscisco A.
Besosa-Martínez, Assistant United States Attorney,
were on brief, for appellee.
Torruella, Lipez, and Thompson, Circuit Judges.
THOMPSON, CIRCUIT JUDGE.
Charriez-Rolón (Charriez, for short) stands convicted
of possessing child pornography and transporting a minor with
the intent to engage in criminal sexual activity. For his
crimes, he received an effective sentence of 420 months in
prison (because the district judge ordered concurrent time).
Charriez now appeals, arguing that there was insufficient
evidence to convict him of possessing child pornography and
that the prosecutor's comments during closing arguments
crossed constitutional lines. Neither of his arguments
persuade us, so we affirm his conviction on all
Charriez challenges the sufficiency of the evidence, among
other things, we state the facts in the light most favorable
to the jury's verdict. See United States
v. Santos-Soto, 799 F.3d 49, 56-57 (1st
XFS Moves In
2009, when he was five years old, XFS and his family moved
into a neighborhood called "Las Cuchillas" in Toa
Alta, Puerto Rico - four houses away from Charriez. There,
XFS lived with his parents and four siblings: two older
sisters, one older brother, and one younger sister. About a
year after XFS and his family moved in, Charriez approached
XFS's mother and offered a helping hand for whatever the
family might need in the future.
family welcomed the help, and Charriez began regularly
spending time at XFS's home as a friendship developed.
Charriez offered neighborly gestures, for instance when
XFS's parents could not pick up the kids from school,
Charriez would get them home. When he ran errands, Charriez
would visit the kids and take them along for the ride. He got
close to them, particularly with XFS.
XFS, who was bullied at school and had trouble communicating
with others, welcomed Charriez's invitations at first.
After all, Charriez was showering him and his siblings with
gifts such as ice cream, video games, bicycles, and even a
bunk bed worth $1, 000 for the boys. Unfortunately, though,
things are not always as they seem, and XFS's view of
Charriez quickly changed - with good reason, as we are about
Charriez's Sexual Abuse of XFS
fall of 2013, XFS was starting the third grade and doing
well. That December, though, XFS's mother learned that
his grades were slipping, and so she asked him what was going
on. He told her that he just couldn't think. By February,
XFS was failing every class. Eventually, XFS spoke with his
uncle and revealed a horrifying secret about Charriez.
out, Charriez's intentions were anything but pure. After
picking up the kids from school, Charriez would drop them all
off at home - all, that is, except for XFS, who Charriez
would spend more time with without the parents'
permission. Strangely, too, at night Charriez would climb up
a balcony to get into the children's bedroom.
that was only the beginning. Charriez began showing XFS
"bad things" on his cellphone (more on that later).
And his gifts now came with conditions. For example, if XFS
wanted to ride the bike Charriez bought him, XFS had to let
Charriez put his finger into XFS's anus. Once, when XFS
refused, Charriez shot him in the knee with a pellet gun,
tied him up, and sexually assaulted him. Charriez used
Vaseline each time to facilitate the assaults.
Charriez, location did not matter. He would assault XFS in
restroom facilities at public parks and fast food
restaurants. In his vehicle with tinted windows, he would
drive to isolated areas of public parking lots and assault
XFS in the passenger's seat. The abuse began in late 2013
and continued until law enforcement got involved the
Charriez Gets Arrested
month after XFS spoke up about the abuses, police arrested
Charriez. Waiving his Miranda rights Charriez gave
police permission to search his home, vehicle, and cellphone
while they interviewed him at the local station. At his home,
police found a jar of Vaseline. In his car, they found a
pellet gun under the driver's seat. On his phone, they
found what appeared to be seven sexually explicit images
involving minors (children under the age of eighteen).
questioned by police, Charriez admitted to having a
"curiosity" for children, which he blamed on
allegedly being molested as a child. He also said he would
use his cellphone to search the internet, using terms in
Google like "youngsters," "pornography,"
"anal sex," and "pedophilia." And he said
he knew child pornography involved minors around age 14 and
would "download adult and child pornography," watch
it, and then erase it.
with these facts, a grand jury indicted Charriez for
possessing child pornography and transporting a minor with
the intent to engage in criminal sexual activity.
See 18 U.S.C. §§ 2423(a), 2252A(a)(5)(B)
and (b)(2). He pled not guilty and went to trial.
only the highlights, we note that the government's case
against Charriez included:
• physical evidence - the pellet gun and the tub of
• documentary evidence - account statements for the bunk
bed Charriez ...