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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
Eastern District of California

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Monday, July 15, 2019

Atwater Man Sentenced to 40 Years in Prison for Offenses Related to the Sexual Exploitation of Children Using Social Media

FRESNO, Calif. — Chief U.S. District Judge Lawrence J. O’Neill sentenced Nikko Adolfo Perez, 27, of Atwater, today to 40 years in prison, to be followed by a lifetime term of supervised release for his convictions for the sexual exploitation of children, coercion and enticement of a minor, and receipt and distribution of child pornography, U.S. Attorney McGregor W. Scott announced.

“While Perez's sentence is substantial, it pales in comparison to the lifetime of damage he inflicted upon his many victims. Innocence cannot be restored,” said Special Agent in Charge Sean Ragan of the FBI Sacramento Field Office. “We hope this case inspires families to have conversations about the danger of communicating online over text, apps, and other media with a stranger and the importance of immediately seeking help if communication becomes exploitive or threatening. The internet fosters both false familiarity and anonymity, which can empower a predator. We urge the community to be mindful of the inherent danger of communicating with or transmitting photos to someone you do not truly know.”

According to a criminal complaint, Perez, using the Instagram screen name captainamerica272018, victimized two boys, ages 8 and 10, in Utah by coercing them to create and send him images of themselves engaged in sexually explicit conduct. Perez offered to pay the boys with Google Play credits if they engaged in requested sexual acts or poses, and when one of the victims said he would call 911, Perez threatened to disseminate the sexually explicit images of the victims. He also threatened to harm family members of the victims.

Perez admitted in a plea agreement that he also used Skype, Kik, Discord, Snapchat, and LiveMe to communicate with between 50 and 100 minors for the purpose of soliciting sexually explicit images of those minors. He admitted that he persuaded the victims to pose nude or engage in sexually explicit activities, sometimes with other minors. He admitted that he often paid victims to engage in this conduct, and he sent some of the material that he had requested to other people.

The FBI continues to seek additional victims. Information can be submitted to https://tips.fbi.gov or call the local FBI office.

This case was the product of an investigation by the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the Salt Lake City Police Department, and the FBI’s Violent Crimes Against Children Section Major Case Coordination Unit. The Merced District Attorney’s Office investigations unit also assisted in the investigation of the case. Assistant U.S. Attorney David Gappa prosecuted the case.

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.

Topic(s): 
Project Safe Childhood
Press Release Number: 
1:18-cr-211 LJO
Updated July 15, 2019