A non-binary queer artist was arrested last week in an FBI sting operation after the individual attempted to set up the rape of a drugged, 9-year-old boy. Warning: This article contains graphic details from the FBI complaint.
Efrem Zelony-Mindell, 35, had been communicating with an undercover FBI agent he met on Scruff, a dating app for gay men, for several months when the topic of conversation turned towards “taboo.” At this point, Zelony-Mindell shared having an interest in “yng incest dad son” and repeatedly and graphically stated the desire to sexually assault children. The accused also sent the undercover agent child sexual abuse materials, according to Reduxx.
About a month later, the undercover agent pretended to have found a father of a 9-year-old boy who was willing to allow Zelony-Mindell to rape his son, and offered to introduce the two. The alleged pedophile eagerly embraced the opportunity and expressed a strong desire to sexually abuse the child to the second agent. Arrangements were made for the rape to take place, with Zelony-Mindell believing the child would be drugged prior to the assault.
Upon arrival at the arranged meeting point, Zelony-Mindell was arrested and waived his Miranda rights, admitting to possessing and distributing child sexual abuse material and having the intention to sexually assault a child.
Later that same day, charges of attempted enticement of one minor boy in Manhattan, New York, and possession and distribution of child pornography were announced by the FBI.
“As alleged, Mr. Zelony-Mindell’s actions are nearly unfathomable. Through a series of conversations with undercover FBI agents conducted on encrypted messaging platforms, he stated his desire to have sex with minor children, and he ultimately met with one of the agents who he believed would provide him an opportunity to do so,” said FBI Assistant Director Michael J. Driscoll in the press release.
Aside from arranging to rape a child, Zelony-Mindell shared child sexual abuse photographs and videos with both undercover FBI agents. Descriptions of the disturbing content were included in the FBI report.
These materials included a “video depicting an adult male raping an approximately 11-year-old boy by penetrating him anally,” and an image of a toddler boy being forced to perform oral sex on an adult male. There was also an image of “an adult male restraining an approximately 12-year-old boy whose penis and anus were exposed.”
When asked where this child sexual abuse material came from, Zelony-Mindell told the FBI agent it was from “chat rooms” and admitted to having a “separate phone for perv stuff [sic],” and having “a shit ton on this phone.”
The non-binary artist expressed in clear, unambiguous terms the desire to anally rape a child.
“I want to have sex with your son dude. It’s honestly all I think about. You watching us together,” the queer activist told the agent. “You really want your kid to take my dick? Cause if we get together I’m absolutely going to fuck him.”
Zelony-Mindell is a self-described “white non-binary queer” with they/them pronouns, and according to Reduxx has been involved in painting and curating several queer art shows. The disgraced queer artist also used to write for VICE.
A list of shows curated by the artist are available on Zelony-Mindell’s website, and include Ohio University and Texas Tech University, and he has presented at many other colleges and universities.
In January this year, Vogue praised Zelony-Mindell’s book Witness, but the article which called the book “a resource” on the “intricacies of BIPOC and LGBTQIA+ artists” seems to have now been deleted.
“After the murder of George Floyd and Breonna Taylor there was this collective specter hanging over the United States and the human species, really. A huge part of that violent weight was what role did photography and video play on us as individuals and communities. How do we collectively speak up and speak out?” Reduxx quotes Zelony-Mindell saying in the now-deleted piece. “How do we need to learn to listen and re-educate? How has silence and supremacy laid a pathway for complacency and white solidarity to racism, bigotry, and death?”
He also posted support for far-left causes.
If convicted, the queer activist faces a mandatory minimum prison sentence of ten years and a maximum of life for the attempted enticement of a 9-year-old boy to engage in illegal sexual activity. The alleged pedophile also faces one count of distribution of child pornography, which carries a mandatory minimum sentence of five years in prison and a maximum sentence of 20 years in prison; and one count of possession of child pornography, which carries a maximum sentence of 20 years in prison.
“Today’s action should serve as a reminder to anyone who seeks to prey on children - the FBI Human Trafficking and Child Exploitation Task Force and our law enforcement partners will continue to aggressively pursue you and hold you accountable,” said FBI Assistant Director Driscoll.
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