jail cells
Example of jail cells. Photo via Pixabay

A Koreatown man was sentenced Tuesday to 17 1/2 years in federal prison for convincing minor teenage girls to send him sexually explicit images, then coercing his victims to send more with threats of publishing the images he initially obtained.

After he is released from federal prison, Francisco Sanchez will be required to register as a sex offender and must serve a lifetime period of supervised release.

Sanchez “intentionally targeted girls that he knew to be suicidal or despondent, because (he) believed they would be easier to manipulate and control,” according to his plea agreement.

Sanchez, 31, “victimized real children — manipulated and exploited them for his sexual pleasure — with total disregard for the consequences and effects upon them,” prosecutors wrote in their sentencing memorandum.

Sanchez admitted that he used websites and computer applications to meet minor girls online. From 2014 through September 2016, he used the fake name Eddie Nash to pose as a teenage boy and develop romantic relationships with his victims so that he could obtain sexually explicit images and videos from them.

In some cases, Sanchez convinced his victims to engage in sexually explicit conduct during video chats, which allowed him to take pornographic screen shots of the minors. In other cases, Sanchez threatened to commit suicide to coerce the victims into sending him pictures or videos.

After obtaining sexually explicit images from the girls, Sanchez threatened to publish or otherwise expose the victims if they did not send additional images or videos.

While Sanchez pleaded guilty in May to two counts of production of child pornography — related to victims who were 13 and 14 — he admitted that he victimized another five teenage girls, prosecutors said.

Sanchez further admitted that he cyberstalked two victims — which included threatening to make one girl “internet famous” by publishing child pornography depicting her — and that he distributed child pornography on a peer-to-peer file sharing network, according to the plea agreement.

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