Koreatown Man Pleads Guilty to Child Pornography Charges after Coercing Minor Girls to Send Him Sexually Explicit Images
LOS ANGELES – A Koreatown man today pleaded guilty to two child exploitation charges for convincing teenage girls to send him sexually explicit images, and then coercing victims to send more with threats of publishing the images he initially obtained.
Francisco Sanchez, 31, pleaded guilty to two counts of production of child pornography.
In a plea agreement filed in United States District Court, Sanchez admitted that he used websites and computer applications to “meet” minor girls. From 2014 through September 2016, Sanchez used the pseudonym “Eddie Nash” to pose as a teenage boy and develop romantic relationships with his victims so that he could obtain sexually explicit images and videos from them. In some cases, Sanchez convinced his victims to engage in sexually explicit conduct during video chats, which allowed him to take pornographic screen shots of the minors. In other cases, Sanchez threatened to commit suicide to coerce the victims into sending him pictures or videos.
After obtaining sexually explicit images from the girls, Sanchez threatened to publish or otherwise expose the victims if they did not send additional images or videos.
Sanchez “intentionally targeted girls that he knew to be suicidal or despondent, because [he] believed they would be easier to manipulate and control,” Sanchez admitted in the plea agreement.
While Sanchez pleaded guilty to two counts – related to victims who were 13 and 14 – he admitted in his plea agreement that he victimized another five teenage girls.
Sanchez further admitted that he cyberstalked two victims – which included threatening to make one girl “internet famous” by publishing child pornography depicting her – and that he distributed child pornography on a peer-to-peer file sharing network.
Sanchez is scheduled to be sentenced on September 15 by United States District Judge Dolly M. Gee.
Each charge of production of child pornography carries a 15-year mandatory minimum sentence and a maximum statutory penalty of 30 years in federal prison.
After he is released from prison, Sanchez will be required to register as a sex offender.
This matter was investigated by the FBI and the Los Angeles Child Exploitation and Human Trafficking Task Force.
This case is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorneys Damaris Diaz of the Violent and Organized Crime Section, and Julia S. Choe of the Cyber and Intellectual Property Crimes Section.