Kauai instructor accused of child sex crimes was also a longtime foster parent

Updated: Mar. 26, 2021 at 9:47 PM HST
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HONOLULU, Hawaii (HawaiiNewsNow) - Law enforcement is working to track down dozens of former foster children who spent time with Victor Aguilar over several decades, sources told Hawaii News Now.

Aguilar, 65, was booked into the Federal Detention Center by agents with Homeland Security Investigations on Thursday. He’s charged with two counts of child exploitation for the purpose of producing child pornography.

Kauai County prosecutors also charged Aguilar at the state level last month for allegedly sexually assaulting a former student at Waimea High School, where he was an athletics coach and JROTC instructor since 1995.

Aguilar and his wife fostered about 40 children and investigators want to know if he abused any of them.

“Due to the ongoing law enforcement investigation, the Department of Human Services declines comment at this time,” a DHS spokesperson said in a statement to Hawaii News Now. DHS is the agency in charge of Child Welfare Services.

Randall Rosenberg, an attorney who represents children who were abused, said thorough background checks are done in order to become a foster parent. He said that since Aguilar had never been accused until recently, he wouldn’t have been prevented from taking in some of the most at-risk youth.

“They can only find what’s out there,” Rosenberg said. “If you have perpetrators who have not been caught before...the background checks are not going to find anything.”

Rosenberg said that’s why the required, monthly checks with each foster child are key for caseworkers to uncover possible abuse.

Court documents said law enforcement identified “approximately 1,000 artifacts-both videos and photographs” of the underage victim.

Although not all of those images qualify as child porn, the HSI agent wrote that they confirm that Aguilar created the images that do qualify.

If convicted, Aguilar faces up to 30 years in prison for each federal count. His first court appearance is scheduled for Monday.

Aguilar pleaded not guilty in the state sex assault case.

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