LOS ANGELES – A Murietta man has been sentenced to 14 years in federal prison for possession of child pornography, an offense he committed while on probation after being convicted of similar conduct in a state case.
Anthony Michael Scotti, 21, of Murrieta, yesterday received the 168-month sentence from United States District Judge Philip S. Gutierrez.
Scotti pleaded guilty in the federal case last April, admitting he had more than 1,000 images and videos of child pornography on an iPod and that he used the KIK messaging app to distribute images of children engaged in sex acts with adults.
In the plea agreement filed in this case, Scotti also admitted that he used text messages to convince a 15-year-old girl in another state to take sexually explicit pictures and send them to him.
Scotti committed the federal offense while on probation after being convicted in Riverside Superior Court about six months earlier of distribution/exhibition of lewd material to a minor.
“In addition to his repeated criminal conduct and the online solicitation of a victim in another state, which is the offense charged in this case, this defendant admitted to engaging in other conduct involving the exploitation of children,” said United States Attorney Eileen M. Decker. “We recommended this lengthy prison sentence after concluding that this defendant poses a serious danger to the safety and well-being of children.”
This case was investigated by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s Homeland Security Investigations (HSI), which received substantial assistance from the Riverside County District Attorney’s Office, Sexual Assault Felony Enforcement (SAFE) Team.
“This lengthy sentence assures the defendant won’t pose a threat to other youths for years to come, but the case serves as a sobering reminder to parents about the importance of monitoring their children's online activity,” said Edward Owens, deputy special agent in charge for HSI Los Angeles. “The internet has become the preferred hunting ground for child sex predators seeking innocent young victims. For parents, keeping their children safe means keeping a close eye on their interactions online and on social media. You’d never allow your child to walk down a dark alley alone at night. Well, figuratively speaking, the internet is today’s dark alley.”
This case was prosecuted by Special Assistant United States Attorney Teresa K.B. Beecham.