Actor From Popular Univision Show Arrested for Possessing and Distributing Child Pornography

October 5, 2009 by David S. Seltzer

Here in Miami, we saw a celebrity arrest of sorts recently when Palm Beach County police picked up Spanish-language television personality Adonis Losada on child pornography charges. Losada, of Miami Beach, is best known for playing Dona Concha on Univision’s Sabado Gigante sketch comedy show. According to a Sept. 26 article in the Miami Herald, Losada was identified and arrested after he sent undercover officers a picture of child pornography. He faces 18 counts of child pornography possession and 30 counts of distributing child and computer pornography -- and California authorities are reportedly building a similar case against him. He has also been suspended from his show during the investigation, according to Univision.

Boynton Beach police found Losada in an online chat room for people interested in child pornography, the Herald said, then convinced him to send the pornographic image. Investigators were able to connect that activity to Losada’s home address, then search his home and recover 18 images of child pornography. Police described some of the images as graphic and disturbing, involving very young children. Losada was arrested on those charges, but released on $90,000 bail. However, after being released on bail, he headed to Georgia, where he was arrested again and extradited back to Palm Beach County. Losada now faces the additional 30 counts of distributing child pornography, and prosecutors have asked for $3 million bail because of his attempt to flee.

The article does not lay out enough details for me to say for sure how I might, as a Miami-Dade child pornography defense lawyer, defend this case. But in any child pornography case, I take a close look at the evidence and whether it meets the requirements set out by the statute. For example, to convict someone of possessing or promoting material showing a sexual performance by a child, the prosecution must show that the defendant knew about the illegal nature of the materials. The circumstances may also cast doubt on whether the defendant truly possessed the materials, in a legal sense. After a close look at where the material came from, law enforcement’s investigative methods and other facts, a good Fort Lauderdale child pornography criminal defense attorney may be able to mount a strong defense, even if it’s not disputed that the materials were on the defendant’s computer.

As a South Florida child pornography criminal defense attorney, I will also watch this case to see if Losada is treated more harshly because of his celebrity. As we recently saw with Plaxico Burress, fame can backfire, particularly if prosecutors feel pressured to make an example of a defendant or prove they aren’t going easy on a celebrity defendant. Losada is accused of some very serious crimes; distributing child pornography is a second-degree felony penalized by up to 15 years in prison for each count. As disturbing as the allegations against him might be, and regardless of the pressures his fame might put on the justice system, he is entitled to a fair trial.