by Irvin Muchnick and Tim Joyce
Yesterday the Fort Lauderdale police told us that they did not participate in the 2008 arrest of Roberto Caragol, a swim coach at Pine Crest School and a close associate there of Alex Pussieldi. Caragol admitted to keeping child pornography on his computer and to sex with underage boys and girls. He is now in federal prison.
Officially, the Caragol prosecution was executed by the multi-agency Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force for the Southern District of Florida. But in reality, it was the baby of the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the U.S. attorney. In the squishy world of Child Protection Inc., nailing computer perverts is the lowest-hanging of fruit. AOL, Caragols Internet service provider, which like others routinely monitors suspicious activity, passed along a tip to the FBI. The operation was coordinated by Alexis Carpinteria, a special agent out of the North Miami Beach office, who would garner local media coverage and an honor from the organization Amber Alert.
But unless were missing something, the investigation by Carpinteria and her cohorts did the easy part and skipped the hard part.
The Caragol federal complaint, indictment, and plea bargain/proffer of facts noted the perpetrators line of work. However, the feds did not pursue the implications of his having met an underage female at a swimming related event and arranged a meeting in a hotel room where they engaged in sexual intercourse, or his admission to sexual encounters with five underage boys whom he coached.
A perfunctory check of Caragols personal and professional associations would have shown that he was the person who had hired Pussieldi at Pine Crest and that the two were listed as co-contacts for the schools swimming camp and hotel-booking services. (See http://www.teamunify.com/fgcspcst/__doc__/34242_2_rental%20flyer%202008.pdf a document we also linked in our February 23 post, http://concussioninc.net/?p=8713.)
And if the Fort Lauderdale police had been involved and shown any inclination to contribute meaningfully to the work of this multi-agency task force they could have told the FBI that Pussieldi already had a trail of abuse allegations.
Pine Crest School , of course, is another one of those historic headquarters of youth swimmer molestation. It was there that Diana Nyads coach Jack Nelson serially raped her at age 14. The current head coach at Pine Crest is Jay Fitzgerald, yet another honoree of the American Swimming Coaches Association Hall of Fame.
The Caragol court documents are viewable at http://muchnick.net/caragol.pdf. Concussion Inc. left a voicemail for Agent Carpinteria yesterday and faxed her this morning. Well publish any comments we receive from her.