Del Rio Man Pleads Guilty to Federal Cyberstalking and Child Pornography Charges
In Del Rio, 27-year-old Michael Martinez faces up to ten years in federal prison after pleading guilty to federal charges involving online sextortion, cyberstalking and child exploitation announced United States Attorney Richard L. Durbin, Jr., and Federal Bureau of Investigation Special Agent in Charge Christopher Combs, San Antonio Division.
Appearing before United States District Judge Alia Moses yesterday afternoon, Martinez pleaded guilty to two counts of cyberstalking and one count of receipt of child pornography. By pleading guilty, Martinez admitted that from October 2013 to August 2014, he caused emotional distress to multiple female victims--one of whom was a minor--by using a fictitious Facebook account, email accounts and text messages to harass, threaten and intimidate them. Furthermore, Martinez admittedly threatened to post nude photographs he had of the victims on the Internet and send the photographs to their respective family and friends unless the victims continued to supply him with additional sexually explicit photographs. The minor victim complied with his threat and sent him nude photographs that he received and stored on multiple electronic devices.
On August 21, 2014, FBI agents executed a search warrant at the defendant’s residence. During the execution of the search warrant, investigators seized several computers, an assortment of computer related storage devices and the defendant’s cell phone. A forensics examination of the seized items revealed the presence of approximately a dozen images of the minor victim engaged in sexually explicit conduct.
Martinez has remained in federal custody since his arrest on August 13, 2015. Sentencing is scheduled for 9:00am on September 8, 2016, before Judge Moses in Del Rio.
This case is being 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 individuals, who sexually exploit children, and to identify and rescue victims. For more information about Project Safe Childhood, please visit http://www.justice.gov/psc.
The case was investigated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation. Assistant United States Attorney Ralph Paradiso is prosecuting this case on behalf of the Government.