U.S. Attorney Laura Duffy
The United States Court House. Photo via U.S. Attorney’s Office.

A Vista man is facing federal charges for allegedly coercing an 11-year-old boy and a 16-year-old girl into sending him naked and sexually explicit photographs of themselves and then threatening to expose them if they didn’t continue.

Joseph Daniel Saucedo, 25, was ordered held without bail pending a Dec. 22 hearing, according to the U.S. Attorney’s Office.

“As parents, we need to be aggressively monitoring what our children are doing online, and as prosecutors, we will aggressively go after predators who are coercing, extorting and harming our kids,” said U.S. Attorney Laura Duffy.

According to a federal complaint, Saucedo posed as a teenage girl and began communicating online with an 11-year-old Canadian boy. At first, the two had normal conversations about everyday life. But then Saucedo, pretending to be “Amy,” sent naked pictures of young girls and asked the boy to communicate with her adult male friend via telephone, prosecutors allege.

“Amy” allegedly threatened to harass the boy online if he didn’t contact her adult male friend. After days of pressure, the boy relented and texted the man, who then called the boy via FaceTime and sent photos of himself naked on his bed and other sexually explicit images, the complaint alleges.

The Canadian boy continued to hang up on the unidentified man, but the harassment continued, prosecutors say. On Jan. 25, the boy received a text message from “Amy,” which included a video of a young boy masturbating, in which the sender threatened to leak the video and claim it depicted the Canadian boy.

Around that time, police in Calgary began investigating Saucedo’s online accounts that they had allegedly linked to child pornography, prosecutors said. They also discovered that Saucedo was carrying on a similar online relationship with a 16-year-old girl in Florida, this time pretending to be a modeling agent, the U.S. Attorney’s Office alleges.

Duffy asked potential victims to contact Victim-Witness Coordinator Polly Montano at (619) 546-8921.

— City News Service