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Long IslandCrime

Feds: Island Park man faces child pornography, cyberstalking charges

An Island Park man has been arrested on child pornography and cyberstalking charges in a case in which he encouraged his victim — a 12-year-old girl — to take her own life, federal prosecutors said.

Lorenzo Arana, 19, was arrested Saturday and ordered detained without bail at an arraignment in Brooklyn federal court on Sunday on a four-count indictment charging him with distribution of child pornography, possession of child pornography, transferring obscene material to a minor, and cyberstalking, according to officials and court papers. He pleaded not guilty.

Eastern District Assistant U.S. Attorney Monica Castro wrote in a detention memo that "In order to ‘expose’ her [the victim] for allegedly cheating on him…the defendant had sent pornographic images of her to her friends, including classmates."

Arana encouraged the victim to take her own life, and when a friend of hers told him she was contemplating suicide, he replied "I don’t care, she deserves it," Castro said.

The girl was found "semiconscious in her room after talking numerous sleeping pills," Castro said. Next to her was a firearm and a suicide note, where the girl "apologized for the ‘bad things’ she had done," the prosecutor said.

The prosecutor said that "the government is actively investigating allegations that the defendant has engaged in similar conduct with respect to numerous other minors," the prosecutor said.

Arana is also facing charges of aggravated harassment and stalking in Nassau County, according to court records. That case involved the father of another young girl asking Arana to stop making unwanted calls to his daughter, to take down the Instagram post of the daughter’s phone number, and in general "to stop being creepy."

The detention letter also says Arana recently was sentenced to 90 days in prison for an unspecified violation of probation.

Arana’s attorney, Bruce Barket, of Garden City, said in an interview Friday that "The government’s version is only 30 percent of the story. It omits entirely that the young man is autistic and that is the primary cause of the conduct."

His client's intellect and maturity is probably less than that of his alleged victims, Barket said,

"I recognize that this does not detract from the harm done to the victims," Barket said of the government’s allegations. "But the nature of his disabilities should be taken into account. We will do our best to present the entire picture to the U.S. Attorney’s office and the court."

Law enforcement officials believe that Arana may have had other victims and ask anyone with further information to contact the Department of Homeland Security at either: https://www.ice.giv/tipline or 866-DHS-2-ICE (866-347-2423).

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