Fresno, California - Nikko Adolfo Perez, 26, of Atwater, pleaded guilty Monday to the sexual exploitation of children, coercion and enticement of a minor, and receipt and distribution of child pornography, U.S. Attorney McGregor W. Scott announced.
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. 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, 2019. 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; and a between 5 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 actual sentence, however, will be determined at the discretion of the court after consideration of any applicable statutory factors and the Federal Sentencing Guidelines, which take into account a number of variables.
This 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. Assistant U.S. Attorney David Gappa is prosecuting the case.
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. 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 those who sexually exploit children, and to identify and rescue victims.