One of the Bronx twin brothers arrested Thursday on federal bomb-making charges is accused in an unrelated case of the rape and sexual abuse of a 15-year-old girl who appears to have been involved in gathering explosive powder for the pair, according to a law enforcement source and court documents.
Christian and Tyler Toro, both 27, were arrested by NYPD officers and FBI agents Thursday on charges that they made a bomb and gave explosive materials to a minor.
The latter charge refers to allegations that the brothers paid high school students $50 a hour to strip gunpowder from fireworks.
Authorities haven’t disclosed a motive in the case.
The brothers, who are being held without bail, claim on their Facebook pages ties to Stony Brook University. Christian said he studied sociology and worked as a research assistant; Tyler said he studied at the school as well. Stony Brook said its directory lists both brothers as being 2012 graduates.
Christian Toro was arrested earlier this year on a Bronx criminal court complaint which alleged that from last September through Jan. 12 of this year he had sex with the 15-year-old. Toro is charged with statutory rape, a low-level felony because the alleged victim was younger than 17. He was freed on a $75,000 bond.
FBI and NYPD officials have been reluctant to flesh out details of the case openly. But one source, who did not want to be identified, said the 15-year-old had allegedly called in a bomb threat on Dec. 4, 2017 to the Harlem charter school where Christian Toro was a teacher.
During conversations with police the girl indicated that she had been having sex but didn’t disclose her partner’s name.
According to the federal complaint, Christian Toro quit his teaching job abruptly, shortly after the girl was arrested. After Toro quit, his brother returned his work computer to the school, where a technician discovered a document containing bomb-making instructions, the complaint stated.
The source explained that police found evidence of telephone calls between Christian Toro and the girl, who allegedly identified Toro as the man she had sex with. Court records show Toro was arrested for rape on Jan. 31.