CHICAGO — A suburban Chicago man has been sentenced to 18 years in federal prison for persuading or attempting to persuade more than a dozen underage girls to send him sexually explicit images of themselves.
THOMAS VIVIRITO admitted in a plea agreement that in 2018 and 2019 he used Instagram, Snapchat, and text messaging services to persuade or attempt to persuade the minor girls, some of whom were as young as 12 years old, to send him sexually explicit photos and videos. Vivirito admitted that in some instances he instructed the victims on what type of sexually explicit conduct should be portrayed in the visual depictions of themselves.
Vivirito, 27, of Oak Brook, Ill., pleaded guilty earlier this year to a federal child pornography charge. U.S. District Judge Virginia M. Kendall imposed the sentence Friday after a hearing in federal court in Chicago.
The sentence was announced by John R. Lausch, Jr., United States Attorney for the Northern District of Illinois; and Emmerson Buie, Jr., Special Agent-in-Charge of the Chicago Field Office of the FBI. Valuable assistance was provided by the Naperville, Ill., Police Department, and the Will County State’s Attorney’s Office.
“Victim by victim, and message by message, defendant groomed and attempted to groom over a dozen young girls over social media,” Assistant U.S. Attorneys Ashley A. Chung and Christine M. O’Neill argued in the government’s sentencing memorandum. “With each new victim, each sexual message, and each explicit image received or downloaded, defendant robbed young girls of their childhood and wreaked trauma in their lives.”
If you believe you are a victim of sexual exploitation, you are encouraged to contact the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children by logging on to https://www.missingkids.org/ or calling 1-800-843-5678. The service is available 24 hours a day, seven days a week.