Texas man arrested for alleged sextortion scheme
Michael Martinez, 26, allegedly solicited three females, including a minor, for sexually explicit photos and then extorted them.
A 26-year-old man from Texas was arrested this past week on charges involving online sextortion, cyberstalking and child exploitation.
According to an FBI press release, Michael Martinez has been charged with one count of production of child pornography, one count of receipt of child pornography, one count of possession of child pornography, and one count of coercion and enticement of a minor to engage in sexual activity.
Martinez allegedly targeted his three female victims, including one minor, between October 2013 and August 2014 and used online chats and text messages to “harass and intimidate” them, the release said. In one instance, he coerced a minor to engage in “sexually explicit conduct,” which he had her document and then send him through email.
The indictment included a “Notice of Demand for Forfeiture” that involves some of Martinez's property. Among the 21 listed items are five cell phones, a router and multiple external hard drives. The FBI raided Martinez's house in 2014 under a search warrant and, during that time, agents confiscated the defendant's cell phone, which contained “dozens of images of the minor victim engaged in sexually explicit conduct.”
He also allegedly threatened to post the photos he had obtained, or send them to the victims' family members, if the vicitms didn't continue sending him photos.
Martinez faces a life sentence in federal prison under his enticement of a minor charge.
The FBI noted that this case comes as part of its “Project Safe Childhood” initiative. The nationwide endeavor, launched in 2006, aims to “combat the growing epidemic of child sexual exploitation and abuse.”