“Non-Binary Queer” Artist And Former VICE Contributor Sentenced For Child Pornography Possession After Arranging To Meet 9-Year-Old Boy For Rape

Content Notice: This article contains graphic descriptions of child sexual abuse materials and child sexual abuse as outlined in an FBI legal complaint. Reader discretion is appreciated.

A “non-binary queer” artist and former VICE contributor has been sentenced to 90 months in federal prison for the possession of child pornography after arranging to sexually abuse a 9-year-old boy. Efrem Zelony-Mindell, 35, was initially arrested in Manhattan, New York, on December 16, 2022.

According to the criminal complaint reviewed by Reduxx, Zelony-Mindell began communicating with an undercover FBI agent in early 2022 after meeting him on Scruff, a hook-up app for homosexual men. During these conversations, Zelony-Mindell slowly began to introduce more extreme topics, and questioned the agent if he was “into taboo.”

Soon after, Zelony-Mindell asked if the agent had a Telegram account, where the two then began corresponding. He expressed an interest in “[young] incest,” and repeatedly stated his desire to sexually abuse children.


From the complaint, written by FBI agent Aaron Spivack.

Approximately one month later, the undercover agent offered to introduce Zelony-Mindell to another agent posing as a father of a 9-year-old boy offering his son for rape. He immediately affirmed his desire to sexually abuse the child, and arrangements were made for the two to meet after they had spoken both through an encrypted messaging service, text message, and on the phone.

Zelony-Mindell also sent videos and images of child pornography to the undercover agent after admitting his interest in pedophilia. Within the FBI special agent’s complaint, graphic descriptions of the materials Zelony-Mindell sent to the first undercover agent were provided.

Among the media, were “a video depicting an adult male raping an approximately 11-year-old boy by penetrating him anally,” and an image of a toddler boy being forced to perform oral sex on an adult male. There was also an image of “an adult male restraining an approximately 12-year-old boy whose penis and anus were exposed.” 

Additional disturbing content included multiple images of adult men licking the anuses of boys as young as 8, media of a 10-year-old boy being forced to perform oral sex on an adult male, and images of an adult male “raping a young girl, approximately 8-years-old,” by vaginal penetration.

After being put in contact with the undercover agent posing as a father of a 9-year-old boy, Zelony-Mindell began distributing child pornography to that agent as well. This included an image of an adult male forcing a young boy to expose his anus and genitals, and a video of “a child under the age of approximately 10 years old being raped by an adult male who is penetrating the child anally.”

From the complaint, written by FBI agent Aaron Spivack.

While communicating with the second agent, Zelony-Mindell said: “I want to have sex with your son dude. It’s honestly all I think about. You watching us together.”

He told the agent he was planning to visit New York, as he had moved to Arkansas, and asked again: “You really want your kid to take my dick? Cause if we get together I’m absolutely going to fuck him.” Zelony-Mindell also suggested that the child would have to be drugged “a little bit” for his rape to be successful.

On December 2, 2022, Zelony-Mindell contacted the agent via the phone and told him of his plans to visit the area on or around December 16 for the purposes of abusing the 9-year-old boy. The two arranged to meet at a coffee shop in the Tribeca neighborhood of lower Manhattan.

The day before the meeting, Zelony-Mindell wrote the agent and said: “I can’t wait to taste his sexy little 9-year-old penis.”

Law enforcement was primed for the meeting as soon as Zelony-Mindell arrived in New York, and he was immediately arrested at the meet-up point.

A photo sent by Zelony-Mindell to the undercover agent just days before the arranged rape of the child. Photo Source: FBI Complaint.

While the FBI’s complaint against Zelony-Mindell had referred to him using masculine pronouns, the US Department of Justice seemingly affirmed his non-binary identity and referred to him as “they/them/theirs” in their sentencing recommendation. One part of the recommendation reads “their phone alone contained approximately 2,400 videos and images of child pornography,” referring to Zelony-Mindell.

Another section reads: “the defendant attempted to sexually abuse a 9-year-old child themselves.”

The US attorney recommended an incarceration period of 120 months, but, on November 14,  U.S. District Judge Paul A. Engelmayer ordered a custodial sentence of 90 months with 5 years of supervised release.

Zelony-Mindell is well known for being an artist and social justice activist, and has contributed to VICE in the past.

On his website, Zelony-Mindell describes himself as a “white non-binary queer” person and states his pronouns are “they/them.” 

Zelony-Mindell has a history of painting and curating several “queer” art shows as well as being a former writing contributor to VICE

In 2016, VICE published a piece by Zelony-Mindell in which he gushed about photographer Mary Ellen Mark and her “iconic” photos of a 13-year-old sexually trafficked child named Erin Charles. The girl “became a 30-year focus of turmoil and intrigue” to Mark, and the child “became integral to her artistic practice,” Zelony-Mindell described.

On his website, Zelony-Mindell lists over a dozen shows he has curated, including at Ohio University, Texas Tech University, and the International Center for Photography-Bard. 

In January of 2022, Zelony-Mindell’s book “Witness” was praised in Vogue in an article which appears to have been hastily deleted following the announcement of his charges. The Vogue profile praised Witness as “a resource” on the “intricacies of BIPOC and LGBTQIA+ artists.”

Zelony-Mindell was interviewed for the article, at one point signaling to human rights, and the Black Lives Matter movement and the protests and demonstrations that rocked the United States in 2020.

“After the murder of George Floyd and Breonna Taylor there was this collective specter hanging over the United States and the human species, really. A huge part of that violent weight was what role did photography and video play on us as individuals and communities. How do we collectively speak up and speak out?” Zelony-Mindell was quoted as saying.

“How do we need to learn to listen and re-educate? How has silence and supremacy laid a pathway for complacency and white solidarity to racism, bigotry, and death?”


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Anna Slatz

Anna is the Co-Founder and Editor-in-Chief at Reduxx, with a journalistic focus on covering crime, child predators, and women's rights. She lives in Canada, enjoys Opera, and kvetches in her spare time.

Anna Slatz
Anna Slatz
Anna is the Co-Founder and Editor-in-Chief at Reduxx, with a journalistic focus on covering crime, child predators, and women's rights. She lives in Canada, enjoys Opera, and kvetches in her spare time.
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