Former aide to Miami mayor sentenced to 6 years in prison for child pornography
Prosecutors say that in 2019, Pedrosa convinced a male 16-year-old to go to City Hall to discuss a website design job. However, the former aide kissed and inappropriately touched the minor throughout the meeting
August 15, 2023 6:22am
Updated: August 15, 2023 6:22am
A former aide to the mayor of Miami was sentenced to six years in federal prison on Monday after being charged with child pornography.
Rene Pedrosa, former spokesperson for Miami Mayor Francis Suarez, was initially charged with producing child pornography and enticing a minor into sexual activity.
Prosecutors say that in 2019, Pedrosa convinced a male 16-year-old to go to City Hall to discuss a website design job. However, the former aide kissed and inappropriately touched the minor throughout the meeting.
"The defendant stopped, grabbed the victim's hand, kissed (victim) on (victim's) lips, and grabbed (victim's) buttocks over the clothing," according to the arrest report.
Pedrosa admitted that he had continued to engage with the teenager through an internet-based messaging app, through which he received and sent explicit images.
On May 24 of this year, he entered a plea deal in which he pleaded guilty to the charge of child pornography.
Prosecutors dropped all other charges in exchange for the guilty plea. Pedrosa was facing a potential prison term ranging from five to 20 years.
"I was the adult in the room. I should have done more. I should have said more," Pedrosa, 51, said to reporters outside of the courthouse on Monday.
During Monday’s hearing, the judge sentenced him to six years in federal prison, then to supervised release for 15 years after that, according to Pedrosa’s attorney Rick Yabor. He has to turn himself in on Wednesday.
The victim was not in the courtroom Monday, but his statement was read, which said he was still trying to deal with with what happened to him.
His mother, who was present during the sentencing gave a victim impact statement as she broke into tears, and told the judge she wanted justice for her son.
Miami Mayor Francis Suarez said the case was an example of the justice system working effectively, and thanked local law enforcement for its hard work.
“I want to thank the Miami Police Department for expeditiously dealing with this matter. The residents of Miami deserve the highest standards from municipal employees. I will always work to ensure that my administration delivers accountability and takes action to uphold those standards,” Mayor Suarez said after Pedrosa’s initial arrest.