A former digital strategist for the Senate Republican Conference, who also reportedly worked on advertisements for former President Donald Trump's 2020 reelection campaign, was arrested and charged with the distribution of child pornography Friday, according to a Metropolitan Police Department statement.
"Detectives from the Metropolitan Police Department’s Youth and Family Services Division, Internet Crimes Against Children Unit, the Northern Virginia Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force, and Homeland Security Investigations announce an arrest has been made in a Distribution of Child Pornography offense that occurred in Washington, DC," the MPD statement reads.
The statement says an investigation lead to the discovery of Verastigui's illegal activity.
"Between March 2020 and February 2021, an investigation revealed the suspect distributed, received and possessed images of child pornography," the statement continues.
"On Friday, February 5, 2021, 27 year-old Ruben Verastigui, of Northeast, DC, was arrested and charged with Distribution of Child Pornography."
Verastigui was working for a non-profit called Citizens for Responsible Energy Solutions until his arrest.
“The details of the allegations against Mr. Verastigui are tragic and shocking. He is no longer employed by the organization and we are prepared to fully cooperate with law enforcement requests in this matter to any extent needed," a spokesperson for the non-profit said in a statement.
Verastigui worked for the Senate Republican Conference until July 2020, according to his LinkedIn profile. The investigation into his child-porn related activity began while he was still working for the Republican Party.
Homeland Security came across Verastigui while they were investigating a group of 18 individuals who were allegedly trading child porn on an unnamed website, according to court documents obtained by the Daily Beast.
The website was unnamed in the documents to "to protect the integrity of the ongoing investigation," the Daily Beast reports.
The documents reportedly reveal the contents of Verastigui's conversations on the website. In one conversation from the documents, Verastigui says, "babies" were his "absolute favorite."
"Well like I said babies are some of my biggest turn-ons and beast," Verastigui wrote in a direct message. "Young rape… Fuck I love all that," he continued, according to the documents.
The criminal complaint says that Verastigui asked for another member of the chat group to come to Washington D.C. "for the purpose of sexually abusing a minor."
During a Frida search warrant execution, Verastigui reportedly admitted to being active on the child porn website.
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