Special agents with U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) are seeking the public’s help to identify possible additional victims in an ongoing child sexual exploitation probe involving an Arizona childcare provider.
Aaron Turk, 31, of Yuma, who provided babysitting services at the residence he shared with his girlfriend, was rearrested Thursday by HSI special agents after a forensic examination of his electronic devices revealed more than 500 images of child pornography.
Investigators have already identified multiple victims who were allegedly sexually abused by the defendant. He is currently in custody awaiting an initial appearance in federal court which is scheduled for Friday morning. This case is being prosecuted by U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of Arizona.
The investigation was conducted as part of HSI’s Operation Predator, which seeks to stop predators from harming children through child pornography, trafficking, and “child sex tourism.”
Turk was originally arrested June 15 on one count of possession of child pornography and one count of sexual exploitation of children.
A week later he was released and placed on an ankle monitoring device pending the outcome of the criminal proceedings.
During the course of the probe, investigators examined hundreds of images found on the defendant’s electronic devices.
The forensic review identified six images and a video, which appeared to have been created by Turk, that allegedly show a girl approximately 2 years of age being sexually abused by the defendant.
Based on the additional images, HSI executed another federal search warrant at Turk’s home where he was rearrested on charges filed in a complaint.
“Given this individual’s access to children and the nature of the allegations in this case, we believe there is a possibility there are unidentified juvenile victims,” said Scott Brown, special agent in charge for HSI Arizona. “We encourage anyone in the Yuma area who may have information that could be relevant to the case to come forward.”
Members of the public who have information related to this case are urged to contact the local Yuma HSI office at 928-341-7700. HSI victim-witness specialists will be available to assist any parent or guardian should they need victim-related resources.
Turk is presumed innocent until proven guilty.
HSI encourages the public to report suspected child predators and any suspicious activity through its toll-free Tip Line at 1-866-DHS-2-ICE.