Atwater Man Charged with Sexual Exploitation of Children Through Instagram, Omegle, Kik, and Other Apps
FRESNO, Calif. — A federal grand jury returned a three-count indictment today against Nikko Adolfo Perez, 26, of Atwater, charging him with one count of sexual exploitation of children, one count of coercion or enticement of a minor, and one count of receipt of child pornography, U.S. Attorney McGregor W. Scott announced.
According to court documents, Perez, using the Instagram screen name captainamerica272018, victimized two boys, ages 8 and 10, in Utah by coercing them into creating and then sending to him images of them engaged in sexually explicit conduct. Perez offered to pay the boys with Google Play credits if they engaged in requested sexual acts or poses. When one of the victims said he would “call 911,” Perez threatened to disseminate images of the victims engaged in sexually explicit conduct. He also threatened to harm family members of the victims. Perez used Omegle, Instagram, Snapchat, Kik, and other social media apps.
This case is the product of an investigation by the Salt Lake City Police Department and the Federal Bureau of Investigation offices in Salt Lake City and Fresno. Assistant U.S. Attorney David Gappa is prosecuting the case.
If convicted, Perez faces a mandatory minimum term of 15 years and a maximum of 30 years in prison for the sexual exploitation count, a mandatory minimum of 10 years to a maximum of life in prison for the coercion and enticement count, and five to 20 years in prison for the count of receipt of child pornography. For all counts there is a potential $250,000 fine and a lifetime term of supervised release. Any sentence, however, would be determined at the discretion of the court after consideration of any applicable statutory factors and the Federal Sentencing Guidelines, which take into account a number of variables. The charges are only allegations; the defendant is presumed innocent until and unless proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt.
This case was brought as part of Project Safe Childhood, a nationwide initiative launched in May 2006 by the Department of Justice to combat the growing epidemic of child sexual exploitation and abuse. Led by the United States Attorneys’ Offices and the Criminal Division’s Child Exploitation and Obscenity Section, Project Safe Childhood marshals federal, state, and local resources to locate, apprehend, and prosecute those who sexually exploit children, and to identify and rescue victims. For more information about Project Safe Childhood, please visit www.usdoj.gov/psc. Click on the “resources” tab for information about internet safety education.