A Torrance man pleaded guilty Friday to federal charges that he waged a “sextortion” campaign to obtain sexual images of women from his hometown while he was an active-duty Marine at Camp Pendleton.
Johao Chavarri, 25, entered his plea to three counts of stalking, which carries a total sentence of up to 15 years behind bars and a fine of $750,000, according to the U.S. Attorney’s Office.
A sentencing hearing was scheduled for Sept. 15.
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 nude or sexually explicit photos and videos of themselves, according to his plea agreement, filed in Los Angeles federal court.
Prosecutors said the threats continued in some cases for more than a year.
According to the agreement, Chavarri 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 threatened to send the explicit materials to their boyfriends, friends, families or employers, whom he would often identify by name.
Federal prosecutors said Chavarri sent one message to multiple victims via Instagram, saying he would spend his “whole life ruining” their lives.