MIAMI

Former 'Sabado Gigante' Star Adonis Losada On Trial On 66 Child Porn Charges

01/31/2014 05:46 am ET | Updated Apr 02, 2014
ASSOCIATED PRESS

Adonis Losada once made people laugh whenever he wore a gray wig and granny glasses for his acting role on the popular Spanish-language TV variety show "Sabado Gigante" on Univision.

But now the diminutive comic known as the clumsy abuela Dona Concha wears a blue jail jumpsuit as a criminal defendant in Palm Beach County Circuit Court.

Losada, 49, is on trial this week facing 66 child pornography charges, many involving graphic images of young children in sexual situations. In a rare move, he's offering no defense and has refused an attorney to represent him in court.

Speaking through a Spanish interpreter, Losada on Thursday told Circuit Judge Karen Miller, "It's not my wish to be here."

"I don't want to participate," he said, restating his plans not to testify or conduct cross-examinations of the state's witnesses. "Send me the verdict and all that information."

But Miller, after ruling Losada is mentally competent to stand trial, said she will require him to at least sit in the courtroom while the jury listens to the evidence supplied by prosecutors Gregory Schiller and Justin Hoover.

"It's better if you are present," Miller said, adding she had a hard time finding any past Florida cases where criminal defendants opted to stay in jail while their trials were held. "It's your day in court."

The judge repeatedly asked Losada to be sure of his decision. She reminded him that if convicted on all charges he faces a minimum sentence of 44 years in state prison and a maximum of 330 years.

Before the trial began Tuesday, Losada declined the state's offer to plead guilty in exchange for a sentence of 20 years -- a term that would run concurrent with whatever sentence he might get after a pending trial in Miami-Dade on related child porn charges.

Miller asked Losada to think hard about taking part in his defense, noting that if he doesn't he can't complain about his conviction after the fact.

"The chairs are more comfortable up here than I imagine they are in a holding cell," Miller said. "We take breaks."

Losada replied through his interpreter: "I'd like the record to be clear: I am here against my wishes."

He never explained his position, but in 2012 Losada lost a battle in the 3rd District Court of Appeal to consolidate all of the charges for one trial in Miami-Dade County, near his family and home and to "utilize judicial resources more efficiently."

The 5-foot-3-inch defendant was arrested in September 2009 after connecting online with a Boynton Beach police detective posing as a bilingual, bisexual adult male in a chat room for people interested in having sex with children. The room was called "#baby@todderlove," according to court records.

Losada, first using the screen name "Vergonauta2009" and later "Raul Gonzales," used a social network to send Det. Charles Ramos -- using the name "Paul" -- a photo of a boy and an adult male on Aug. 28, 2009, arrest records show. He also invited Ramos to watch him masturbate via his webcam.

The dialogue continued on Sept. 14, when Losada, from his computer inside his South Beach apartment, sent Ramos 32 more child porn images. Acting on a search warrant four days later, Miami Beach police seized Losada's computer and reportedly discovered 16 child porn images.

Losada then told a Miami-Beach detective that he has "a problem." After being read his rights, Losada admitted to the online chats and to being on the webcam. He also stated that "at times he has accidentally downloaded child pornography" and deletes it after seeing it, Ramos wrote in his arrest report.

In Palm Beach County, Losada was charged with 33 counts of transmitting child pornography, and 33 counts of child pornography. His bail was set at $3 million and remained that high until it was lowered last year to $30,000.

In Miami-Dade County, Losada was charged with 16 counts of possession of sexual performance of a child. Over the years he's been transferred back and forth between jails in the counties.

Losada's gig as a TV personality on Sabado Gigante ended with his arrest. Losada on Thursday said he had no interest in acting in real life as his own attorney.

"I am not," he said in Spanish, "going to impersonate a lawyer."

The trial is set to continue Friday with Det. Ramos still on the witness stand. Prosecutors plan to rest their case on Monday.

mjfreeman@tribune.com, 561-243-6642 or Twitter @SSCourts ___

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