Federal Court in downtown Los Angeles
Downtown Los Angeles federal courthouse. MyNewsLA.com photo by John Schreiber.

An active-duty Camp Pendleton Marine is facing a federal charge of cyberstalking young women with connections to his former hometown of Torrance as part of a “sextortion” campaign, the U.S. Attorney’s Office announced Wednesday.

Johao Miguel Chavarri, 25, of Oceanside, was arrested Tuesday and made his initial appearance Wednesday afternoon in Los Angeles federal court on a charge of stalking.

Chavarri was released on a $30,000 bond with travel restrictions and location monitoring. He is expected to be arraigned March 8.

According to the criminal complaint, from 2019 through 2021, Chavarri used the online alias “Michael Frito” and created various online accounts to stalk and threaten women, demanding that they send him, among other things, nude or sexually explicit photos and videos of themselves or  their feet.

Chavarri faces up to five years in federal prison, prosecutors said.

Prosecutors said the alleged “sextortion” threats continued in some cases for more than a year.

According to the complaint, he allegedly told victims that if they refused to comply with his demands, he would post sexually explicit photos and videos of them online or on well-known pornography websites. He also allegedly threatened to send the explicit materials to their boyfriends, friends, families or employers, whom he would often identify by name, prosecutors said.

According to the complaint, Chavarri sent one message to multiple victims via Instagram, saying he would spend his “whole life ruining” their lives.

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