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Press Release

Arkansas Man Admits Exchanging Nude Pictures with Girl

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, Eastern District of Missouri

ST. LOUIS – A man from Arkansas pleaded guilty in U.S. District Court in St. Louis Friday and admitted exchanging nude pictures with a minor for five years, starting when she was 12. 

Joseph D. Najera, 25, of Lincoln, Arkansas, pleaded guilty to one felony count of coercion and enticement of a minor. 

Najera and the victim met in 2017 via Kik Messenger when Najera sent her a friend request. At that time, the victim told Najera her age. During their online communications, Najera sent the victim artwork depicting nudity, pornography and graphic violence. He then had her draw artwork as well. His instructions about what to draw became increasingly complex and sexual. On numerous occasions, Najera told the victim to perform sex acts during video chats, and to create pornographic images and pictures, his plea agreement says. He sent her pornographic videos via TextNow and Facebook Messenger. Najera also had parental controls set up on the victim’s phone to monitor her online actions and told her she was not allowed to talk with boys at school. He had to approve her makeup, her clothes and whether she cut her hair. They discussed meeting in person but never did.

Najera is scheduled to be sentenced June 27. Both sides are recommending 10 years in prison. 

The FBI, the St. Charles County Cyber Crime Task Force, the St. Charles County Police Department and the Montgomery City Police Department investigated the case. Assistant U.S. Attorney Jillian Anderson is prosecuting the case.

This case was brought as part of Project Safe Childhood, a nationwide initiative to combat the growing epidemic of child sexual exploitation and abuse launched in May 2006 by the Department of Justice. Led by U.S. Attorneys’ Offices and the Department of Justice Criminal Division's Child Exploitation and Obscenity Section, Project Safe Childhood marshals federal, state and local resources to better locate, apprehend and prosecute individuals who exploit children via the Internet, as well as to identify and rescue victims. For more information about Project Safe Childhood, please visit


Robert Patrick, Public Affairs Officer,

Updated March 8, 2024

Project Safe Childhood