Fugitive from Cutchogue finally faces judge in child porn case

Posted: Updated:

A Cutchogue man who allegedly fled the country years ago amid a child pornography investigation finally faced a judge Friday in Suffolk County.

Authorities say Roberto Cardoza fled to El Salvador as police were investigating him for child pornography in 2009. Cardoza was allegedly in possession of 22 videos showing children being sexually abused.

"Let me be clear, these are videos of children being raped," says Suffolk Police Commissioner Timothy Sini. "We went forward with the case, completed the investigation, obtained an indictment and an arrest warrant for Mr. Cardoza."

Police say Cardoza was arrested at the Mexican border in Laredo, Texas in July while trying to get back into the U.S. illegally. He was extradited to Suffolk County on Thursday.

Cardoza pleaded not guilty to charges of possessing child pornography Friday in court. A judge set his bail at $150,000.

Cardoza's lawyer would not go on camera but issued a statement to News 12.

"Roberto Cardoza is an innocent man falsely accused of a crime he did not commit," the statement reads. "We intend to prove so in court."

A longtime friend of Cardoza, who spoke with News 12 by phone, also rejects the allegations and describes Cardoza as a caring man and father of a 10-year-old boy.

sorry to interrupt
your first 20 are free
Access to News 12 is free for Optimum, Comcast®, Time Warner® and Service ElectricSM customers.
Please enjoy 20 complimentary views of articles, photos, and videos during the next 30 days.
you have reached your 5 view limit
Access to News 12 is free for Optimum, Comcast®, Time Warner® and Service ElectricSM customers.
Please login, create an account or subscribe to continue enjoying News12.
Our sign-up page is undergoing maintenance and is not currently available. However, you will be given direct access to news12.com while we complete our upgrade.
When we are back up and running you will be prompted at that time to complete your sign in. Until then, enjoy the local news, weather, traffic and more that's "as local as local news gets."