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Press Release

Texas Man Faces 10 Years to Life for Online Sexual Exploitation of Maine Child

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, District of Maine
13-year-old’s father intercepted messages demanding explicit images & called police

PORTLAND, Maine:  A Texas man pleaded guilty today in U.S. District Court in Portland to coercing and enticing a minor.

According to court records, in December 2021, Juan Jose Torres, 26, coerced and enticed a 13‑year-old to produce and send him sexually explicit images and videos. Torres had first found the child on Snapchat and sent a friend request. They also communicated through Instagram, text, phone, and FaceTime. Torres knew the victim was 13 years old and sent the child explicit images of himself, pressuring the victim to do the same. He became angry or threatened to harm himself if the victim did not comply. The child’s father intercepted disturbing Instagram messages Torres sent to the victim and notified his local police department in Maine. Numerous sexually explicit images and videos were later found on Torres’ phone in Texas.

Torres faces no less than 10 years and up to life in prison and a maximum fine of $250,000, to be followed by five years to life of supervised release. A federal district judge will determine any sentence after considering the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines and other statutory factors.

Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) investigated the case.

Online enticement is increasing: The National Center for Missing & Exploited Children (NCMEC) reported an alarming 300% increase in online enticement reports between 2020 and 2023. “Online enticement” involves an individual communicating with someone believed to be a child via the internet with the intent to commit a sexual offense or abduction. This type of victimization takes place across every platform, including social media, messaging apps, gaming platforms, etc. Learn more about online enticement, including red flags and risk factors, at If you are in Maine and you or someone you know has been sexually assaulted or abused, you can get help by calling the free, private 24-hour statewide sexual assault helpline at 1-800-871-7741.

Project iGuardian program available to Maine communities: The Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) program Project iGuardian is focused on keeping children and teens safe from online predators through education and awareness. The in-person educational outreach effort was created to share information about the dangers of online environments, how to stay safe online, and how to report abuse and suspicious activity. Schools, parent groups, and other community groups interested in bringing the program to their community can find more information at:

Project Safe Childhood: 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’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, visit



Sheila W. Sawyer, Assistant United States Attorney (207-780-3257)

Updated May 30, 2024

Project Safe Childhood