An artist working at Romero Britto’s Lincoln Road art gallery was formally charged this week with possession of child pornography.
Prosecutors on Tuesday filed 15 felonies against Valeriano Torres, 28, of West Kendall, who most recently worked at the Miami Beach studio of the world-famous pop artist.
Miami-Dade detectives armed with a search warrant raided his house and discovered many images of children “engaged in sexual intercourse with other children,” according to an arrest report. Police were tipped off after he allegedly sent illegal images through an AOL email.
When confronted by police, Torres claimed his downloaded nude images were art.
According to his LinkedIn online profile, Torres has also worked as the gallery director of Bruno Fine Art and developed exhibits at the Miami Art Museum. A museum spokesperson said Torres worked only as a temporary contractor who helped to install exhibits.
An employee at the Britto gallery said Torres no longer works there. A spokeswoman for the artist declined comment Wednesday.
In a 2010 Miami Herald article on an Art Basel photography exhibit, Torres described himself as “art curator.”
His attorney on Tuesday declined comment.
This story has been updated online to include a statement from a Miami Art Museum spokesperson.