FRESNO, Calif., Feb. 25, 2019 (Gephardt Daily) — An Atwater man pleaded guilty Monday to charges of sexual exploitation of children, coercion and enticement of a minor, and receipt and distribution of child pornography, related in part to two young victims out of Utah.
The suspect has been identified as Nikko Adolfo Perez, 26, the U.S. Attorney’s Office of Eastern California said in a news release Monday.
“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 them engaged in sexually explicit conduct,” the news release said.
“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.
Perez is scheduled to be sentenced by Chief U.S. District Judge Lawrence J. O’Neill on May 20. Perez faces the following possible penalties:
- A mandatory minimum term of 15 years and a maximum of 30 years in prison for the sexual exploitation count
- A mandatory minimum of 10 years to a maximum of life in prison for the coercion and enticement count
- Between five and 20 years in prison for the one count of receipt of child pornography.
For all counts there is a potential $250,000 fine and a lifetime term of supervised release.
The case is the product of an investigation by the Salt Lake City Police Department and the Federal Bureau of Investigation offices in Salt Lake City, Utah and Fresno, the news release said.
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.
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, click here.