Surprise man accused of taking sexual photos of minors; 6 kids rescued

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Anthony Robert Aranda By Jennifer Thomas Anthony Robert Aranda By Jennifer Thomas

SURPRISE, Ariz. -- Detectives from the Arizona Internet Crimes Against Children rescued several kids after a man in Surprise was accused of taking sexually explicit photographs of them.

Anthony Robert Aranda, 35, faces 13 counts of sexual exploitation of a minor, four counts of voyeurism and four counts of unlawful recording of a person.

Investigators discovered Aranda was taking sexually explicit photographs of six children between the ages of 2 and 12, according to Officer James Holmes with the Phoenix Police Department.

Holmes said the children were known to Aranda, but he did not release further information.

Aranda was arrested Wednesday after detectives reportedly found evidence of child pornography and surreptitious photography in his home near Greenway Road and Cotton Lane.

"They detained Mr. Aranda, they talked with him, and he made admissions that he had, in fact, been taking photographs of children and uploading these photographs," Holmes said.

The six children were rescued from the situation and released to the custody of family members, according to Holmes.

"As these children are rescued out of that home and being brought out to safety, you've got these seasoned police, tough guys, with us and they're basically in tears," Holmes said.

Detectives also learned that Aranda had surreptitiously photographed children without their knowledge while inside local businesses. These five victims have not been identified.

Aranda reportedly shares the Surprise home with his wife and children.

"I don't know what to say. I'm in shock," a woman who identified herself as Aranda's wife told 3TV's Mike Watkiss through the security door of the home.

Court records associated with a suspect's initial appearance are normally available within 24 hours of an arrest, but in this case the records have been sealed due to a judge's order. Court records normally provide extensive details about the alleged criminal conduct.

This investigation is continuing. Anyone who may have information concerning these crimes is encouraged to call the Internet Crimes Against Children Detail at 623-466-1828 or Silent Witness at 480-WITNESS or 480-TESTIGO for Spanish.