Some stories you just don’t want to write up.

Connecticut-based cartoonist Josue Rivera, who works under the pen name Justiniano, has been arrested and charged with first degree possession of child pornography after a thumb drive he supplied to a funeral home was found to have images of child porn on it.

Rivera, 38, had apparently meant to supply a slide show of a recently deceased friend that would be played at a funeral. Instead, workers were shocked to find child porn — including an image that is believed to be Rivera’s niece — on the thumb drive.

Authorities found more illegal images on Rivera’s home computer, finding 135 files of suspected child pornography. The Child Recognition and Identification System has identified 35 children in the files.

Under the name Justiniano, Rivera has worked on books from DC and Chaos, including a Doctor Fate mini-series, 52 and REIGN IN HELL. He was slated to be a guest at this month’s Big Apple Con.

That probably won’t happen now; Rivera is being held on $100,000 bond.



  1. holy crap
    i assumed this would be another ‘cartoonist found with lewd drawings, determined by authorities to be child porn’

    my jaw LITERALLY dropped when i read this

  2. What a sick piece of shit.

    Hope he likes prison, I’m told pedos are on the bottom of the food chain there.

  3. I don’t know the guy, and I’m not fond of his art, but let’s look at this a little more objectively for a second:

    a) people have been found to have images that were called “obscene” when they were pictures of their children naked in the bathtub. The photographer Sally Mann has been accused of being a child pornographer over the years because she took nude photos of her own children, which is ludicrous.

    b) someone interested in pornography is likely to have a huge, HUGE number of images on their computer. 135 images is not a lot, which makes me wonder what is on the computer and what is being considered questionable material. How much legal, socially permitted pornography do you have on your own computer? I’ve got more than 135 pictures, I’ll tell you that.

    I probably have more than 135 pictures of churches on my computer, for that matter.

    c) the guy may be guilty as hell, and if so I’m glad they caught him with the material and hope he’s prosecuted, but there is a lot of grey area in this little news capsule.

  4. The article doesn’t say 135 images. The article says 135 files. A file can be an entire folder.

    How many pictures of kids do you have on your computer that would ping a cross reference to the Child Recognition and Identification System?

  5. Matthew –

    Pictures of his niece? Why would someone have naked pictures of their niece on their hard drive? Not his daughter – but his niece. Uncles shouldn’t have naked pictures of their niece on their computer hard drives unless his name is Jerry Lee Lewis.



  6. Mr. Southworth, temperance is certainly a good thing when approaching the question of someone’s guilt.

    Buuuuut…the dude had 153 files (including 3 videos) of suspected child pornography. And these same files contained images of 35 known children, cross-referenced with the National Child Victim Identification Program. If your hard drive contains images that ping back results from the NCVIP, that ain’t good. We’re definitely not talking about weird hentai art or pictures of nieces and nephews in bathtubs.

    If I was a betting man, I put my money on guilty.

  7. If I was a betting man I’d say our justice system relies on evidence and not gambling.

    Well, this guys life is ruined. What a tragedy for everyone involved, particularly his family. Wonder if his sibling would want him incarcerated. Sad.

  8. I’m certainly not defending someone who is in possession of child pornography, let’s be clear–as a matter of fact, I’m not defending anyone. I’m simply suggesting that there is a possibility that these files–not necessarily pictures, I stand corrected on that–might not be as inflammatory as the article suggests they are.

    They might be, however.

    Regarding the cross-referencing with the NCVIP, that does indeed sound like he’s in possession of illegal and reprehensible material. And again, I’m not defending that.

    I can’t defend prurient photos of his niece, certainly not. However, when I was a kid, my parents took several photos of me naked–one running out to the car in the rain (age 3 or so?), one in the bathtub (maybe 9 months old?), for example, and there was absolutely nothing prurient or objectionable about those photos.

    My argument is that the article leaves lots of vague, grey area. So I’m personally uncomfortable immediately jumping out and tarring this guy with the “pedophile” brush based on such limited detail.

  9. There is no grey area here. These a kiddie porn photos. The police have proven that they are images that have circulated in the kiddie porn work.

    There is no argument here. He’s a pedophile.

    God, it’s like no one’s ever seen an episode of SVU.

  10. @Matthew, I didn’t at all think you were defending him. I think it’s great that you’ve got an ability to view the situation objectively. I was just sharing my view on the likelihood of his innocence. It’s definitely not an open and shut case from where we’re standing, though. Like you said, we’ll have to wait for more info.

    @Nathan, that’s a pretty flip remark towards what was merely an expression. But please, by all means, school us on how the justice system works. I wasn’t aware. Sheesh.

  11. People, we do not know if Rivera committed any crimes, and he IS innocent until proven guilty. The evidence sounds pretty damning but let’s let our system of justice decide if he is guilty.

  12. Sorry Greg, that probably sounded a little bitchy. I’m a little touchy about how many people get locked up in my country. Yet another way America leads the world.

    And Steve, there’s no evidence that he’s a pedophile, ie, touched or harmed anyone, only illegal pictures on his computer.

  13. I can’t believe people are actually defending this human turd. HE HAD THE FILES ON THE THUMB DRIVE AND HIS COMPUTER!!! HOW MUCH OF A SMOKING GUN DO YOU NEED?!?

  14. Yeah, Snikt, now that you mention it, there’s no point in reading any further on it to find out what the files contained, no point in a trial, no reason not to simply lock him up right now. Tough shit for him and tough shit for his family and friends.

    I mean, he’s guilty ’til proven innocent, right? I’ll do a Google search for good deals on pitchforks and torches and get back to you.

    Thanks for contributing your moral clarity to the discussion.

  15. @Steven — assuming these are photos taken of 35 children IDed by law enforcement as having been photographed in illegal sexual activities, yeah, odds look good on the guy being guilty.

    But don’t EVER assume the police are telling the truth, the whole truth, or any part of the truth, much less all they know or any the exculpatory evidence. Google the Innocence Project & see what law enforcement is capable of when they get a bee in their bonnet.

    If he is as guilty as he seems to be, law enforcement should show the evidence to a judge, show it to his lawyers, show it to a jury, let his lawyers try to explain it if they can, then let the jury decide.

  16. @Snikt — you need to Google the Innocence Project, too. They’ve proven via DNA testing that the police coerce confessions out of people who had no connection to a particular crime. If they can get someone to confess falsely to murder and/or rape, why couldn’t/wouldn’t they get somebody to confess falsely to child pornography?

  17. The Beat said: “…we do not know if Rivera committed any crimes, and he IS innocent until proven guilty. The evidence sounds pretty damning but let’s let our system of justice decide if he is guilty.”

    That’s what makes reporting it so difficult. His mug shot is out there, the story is out there… He, in a very real sense, has been convicted already. Maybe reporting the actual conviction would make more sense in a case like this… to actually maintain the “innocence until proven guilty” aspect of it.

    Not trying to stick up for a child pornographer, just trying to show the sometimes two-faced nature of media.

  18. He kinda looks like he’s smiling in his mug shot!

    This isn’t the new face of child pornography, lol. Wouldn’t be surprised if he had ‘free candy’ spray painted on the side of his car…

    Another article said that it was his father that died when they got the thumb drive. There was a guy with the same name that died in bridgeport not too long ago. I only remember because I was driving by and everyone was wearing yankee shirts except for some really hot chick in a blue dress. I mean really really hot… like, sell your soul kinda hot. Thought it was weird. Anyways, I hope he never draws for main stream again just in case. He looks really sketchy.

  19. Thanks, Paul.

    I’m guessing Devil’s Own doesn’t REALLY mean that because the guy looks “sketchy” he shouldn’t draw mainstream comics. Sidestepping the obvious “sketch” pun, is there now an attractiveness meter by which mainstream artists should be hired?

    And if so, I can name you ten incredible artists who currently work in the mainstream who would probably not pass that test. I suspect I wouldn’t pass it, either.

    Cameron Stewart WOULD pass, and John Cassaday would. . .them’s two good-looking fellas.

    But what’s even weirder is the assertion that he shouldn’t be allowed to draw MAINSTREAM comics. In other words, are we to infer that if someone looks “sketchy” that his home is in indie comics? Or that indie comics would be welcoming to “the new face of child pornography”?

    I assume Devil’s Own is just making a joke, and I’m all for that and take no real offense, just pointing out how weird it would be if he actually MEANT it.

  20. “The article doesn’t say 135 images. The article says 135 files. A file can be an entire folder.”

    Why would they count an entire folder full of files as one file? This makes no sense. Obviously the police would maximise this number, not minimise it.

  21. yeah, you’re right Matt, I’m sure its some big conspiracy, the images/files were PLANTED on the thumb drive AND his computer w/o him knowing about it. Maybe it was someone he pissed off at a con or something! :-O

    Why do I think you’re one of those people who when they watch “To Catch a Predator” on tv you think its entrapment or some other such nonsense?

  22. Re: Snikt–

    “Why do I think you’re one of those people who when they watch “To Catch a Predator” on tv you think its entrapment or some other such nonsense?”

    Apparently ’cause you’re a judgmental dumbass.

    MY POINT, delivered specially for you since you seem unable to read with any comprehension through those bullshit-colored glasses, is that

    a) police DO entrap people and that COULD have happened here, though it’s unlikely;

    b) the definition of “child pornography” is flexible and is sometimes defined by reactionary people intent on persecuting someone, sometimes for political gain, though his files MAY in fact be actual, verifiable and repugnant child pornography;

    c) someone with such an interest is likely to have waaaayyy more material than 135 files on his computer, so the number of 135 sounds peculiar and suspect to me;

    and d) I believe that “innocent until proven guilty” means that I’m not in any position to condemn him based on a short capsule article that does not include the following:

    –his reaction to the arrest and whether he admits guilt
    –any response from his family, neighbors, etc.
    –any interview with the funeral home workers who saw the images
    –any description of what the images contain–do they contain actual sexual acts, are they simply nude children, are some of these “child porn” files drawings or are they all photographs
    –if there is any other explanation as to how these things might have gotten on to his computer/thumb drive other than his downloading them and putting them there.

    See, “Snikt”, the point is it’s a SHORT ARTICLE. There’s not enough detail there to make me comfortable condemning a guy. Of course, I’m sure in your world you’re happy to know that Saddam Hussein had weapons of mass destruction, that Dr Steven Hatfill sent anthrax-filled letters all over the country, that sad-sack wannabe-cop Richard Jewell planted the bomb at the Atlanta Olympics, and that being accused of a crime is the same as being convicted of it.

  23. “Why do I think you’re one of those people who when they watch “To Catch a Predator” on tv you think its entrapment or some other such nonsense?”

    It is. Unfortunately for those people that end up on the show, it’s not the police doing it. That show is all about thought-crime, plain and simple.

  24. Re: Turkish–

    Glad you said it, I didn’t want to derail my point.

    But I’ve been thinking about “To Catch a Predator” ever since Snikt brought it up. I watched the first couple of specials MSNBC showed of TCAP, and frankly I was enjoying them. I liked watching these guys get caught, liked watching them squirm, liked watching them lie.

    And then I realized that, yes these guys are scummy and I’m glad they are being caught, but why was it FUN for me to watch someone miserable? Do I think I’m better than these guys simply because I don’t have the urges or the pathology they do?

    If everyone agrees that these guys are “sick”, as in afflicted with an illness, then why are we laughing at them? I don’t laugh at schizophrenics, and I don’t laugh at someone who is handicapped.

    If we don’t make the assumption that they’re sick, then there are a lot of other questions that come up when we try to understand their behavior. Is it that they’re “evil”, possessed by Satan? I don’t believe in that. Are they products of traumatic childhoods, perhaps having been victims themselves? Perhaps in some cases. What drives this behavior in some people?

    I DO think there’s entrapment on TCAP, but it’s more troubling to me that it’s entertainment.

    I don’t like flies in my house and I don’t like flies on my food. But I don’t need to pull their wings off for entertainment.

  25. @Matthew – you say your not defending him, but every time someone voices their differing opinions – you put in your two cents to shut them down. Just because you have a certain view on the matter, it doesn’t mean everyone should agree with you.

    These are innocent children being preyed upon by a monster. Taking away their childhood and leaving them scarred for life. This is one of the lowest acts an adult can do. I don’t see any plausible reasons why anyone would have images of naked random children in their possesion. Not one picture, not 135 files worth.

  26. I just have to comment on all the “questions” Matthew Southworth is bringing up.

    Don’t you think the court system asked these very questions? Don’t you thin the arresting officers, the detectives that did the cross referencing, the judges and every one else involved actually looked at the evidence/pictures and came to a conclusion that it wasn’t just a picture of a naked kid running through a sprinkler?

    Or do you think they just saw some naked pics of kids in a bath and put him up on $100k bond without looking at anything at all?

    Have some common sense.

  27. Also, Matthew: “innocent until proven guilty” is a due process burden that must be met in a judicial court of law. It requires an assumption of evidence nourished by the complete absence of an evidence contrary to his or her charges.

    The court you and I are engaged in is called “the court of public opinion”. This court is a much less official (in fact utterly unofficial) and does not require such standards to be met in order to exercise the first amendment to the bill of rights.

    Spouting the common misnomer like you did, is usually done by someone that wants to appear thoughtful on a controversial subject. For example, someone gets arrested for murder. This may have been a husband and wife with a history of domestic violence. The people in the neighborhood may say to each other “I knew (s)he would end up do that one day”.

    These people are not violating some axiological foundation of American society and civility in any way…they’re accessing the due process to which they are allowed outside of the judicial system.

    Again, the person using said misnomer usually ends up looking more asinine than astute. They want to appear noble and thoughtful, they even believe themselves to be acting in such a manner. But they’re being truly destructive to the very ideals they think they’re upholding against the perceived angry mob of torches and pitchforks they see in front of them.

    They also tend to unwittingly prove the accurate maxim: “a little knowledge is a dangerous thing”.