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Unlike spinning in the neon glow of South Beach, DJing all-ages events provided little glitz and even less glamour. But Portieles was in his 20s, a college dropout, and living at home with no steady job, so the lure of any scene was irresistible. Every week, he would play shows for hundreds or thousands of partiers. As his profile grew, he attracted a circle of fellow DJs and promoters to do his bidding. According to Vidal, he also became popular by procuring alcohol and drugs for his teenaged crowd.
It was during those years that Portieles' substance-abuse problems spiraled out of control. Some weekends, he would drink a bottle of vodka a night and chase it with 30 or 40 hits of ecstasy. Friends remember him drunk to the point of falling over or simply standing motionless in a corner while blankly staring out into space.
"With his general behavior, he had a big sign on his back where any sensible person would be like, Hands off, stay away, do not deal with this person," Vidal says. "I know it's Miami and everyone comes across as a little shady, but Seasunz definitely was more shady than most."
Javier Cadavid, who runs Project X Printing and was a former business partner of Portieles', remembers an incident in 2007 when he and Portieles were pulled over by police in Hialeah. When the cop told Portieles that he looked like he used drugs, the DJ responded, "If you were molested as a kid, you would do drugs too, wouldn't you?" The two weren't arrested.
"He didn't really care what anybody said or about any of the rules," Cadavid says. "He was destined for disaster."
Portieles remained entrenched in the all-ages scene despite the fact that he was approaching 30 years old. "We noticed that he was taking an interest in... the younger girls," Cadavid says. "One thing is to do your business and go home, and [another] is to take an interest."
One particular focus was a girl he had met at G. Holmes Braddock High School while recruiting kids to hand out fliers for his events. Her name was Jaclyn Torrealba. She had a dancer's body, long black hair, and dimpled cheeks. She was an honors student, a cheerleader, and an aspiring lawyer. And when the 28-year-old Seasunz began wooing her in the spring of 2007, she was a month shy of her 16th birthday.
Pablo Torrealba knows why his daughter fell for a man nearly twice her age: the allure of a world she had always wanted to be a part of.
"These are impressionable kids," says the 49-year-old, who teaches biology at Braddock High. "These are kids who want to fit in, be popular, be part of a hip crowd. Imagine you meet somebody who can give you access to clubs, where you'll be next to the most popular person there, be right in the VIP sections, no line, treated like royalty. At that age, what teenager wouldn't fall for that?"
Jaclyn was an only child, and at 2 years old, her parents divorced. But Pablo and his wife, Vilma Castro, remained friendly, and their daughter spent equal time with each of them. Pablo was doting and generous. When Jaclyn was 9, the two wiled away an entire afternoon inside an arcade at the Shops of Sunset Place, playing all the games to collect tickets so they could buy her favorite thing: a Beanie Baby. With Vilma, she would go shopping and talk about the boys she liked and the classes she was taking.
"She didn't rebel or disrespect us," Pablo says. "I couldn't be the least bit disappointed with who Jaclyn was."
Jaclyn also loved to dance. Her parents encouraged her to be social, and with her friends, the 15-year-old began to explore the club world by going to all-ages events and festivals. Then she met Portieles.
The DJ was instantly smitten. Soon after they started dating, he sent her a love letter in which he wrote, "Before I met you, I thought I knew what love was... But it was not until I met [you] that I knew I finally really grasped the concept of the word love and the powers that live within love." He wrote that their relationship was "the greatest love story ever told to mankind."
It was a story that Jaclyn's parents would try to end quickly. After they found out about the relationship, Vilma did a background check on Portieles and discovered the battery charge and a pair of minor drug convictions for pot and ecstasy possession. Then there was the age gap. She and Pablo forbade their daughter from seeing Portieles again, and on August 1, 2007, they sent him a certified cease-and-desist letter through a family attorney. "If you make any attempt to initiate further contact with this minor, we will pursue any and all legal remedies at our disposal to the fullest extent of the law," the letter stated.
"We thought we had dodged a bullet," Pablo says.
But Portieles didn't take the letter to heart, and Jaclyn refused to end the relationship. The two continued to see each other in secret for the next two years. Though she was grounded for three months as punishment for not telling her parents about Portieles, Jaclyn quickly returned to the all-ages scene.