Suspect Cesar Estrada, 19, from Pico Rivera was arrested Wednesday, August 21, 2015, for 151 counts of Communicating with Minors for Sexual Purposes and Lewd Acts on a Child.
During the investigation, 21 girls between 12 and 17 years old were located by detectives with the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Special Victims Bureau Sexual Assault Felony Enforcement Team (SAFE).
The girls alleged they were approached by Garcia on the Internet, primarily through Facebook and Kik social media sites, and enticed to send nude photos and videos of themselves performing sex acts. When contacted by the detectives many of the girls disclosed how terrified they were of Estrada.
Ultimately, Los Angeles County Sheriff’s investigators traveled throughout the United States to interview the teenage victims including Colorado, Florida, Michigan, Nevada, Texas, Utah and Washington. Additional victims were found in Los Angeles County and Orange County, and in the cities of San Francisco and Visalia.
The investigation began when a 14-year-old Antelope Valley girl reported to Los Angeles County Sheriff’s deputies in early 2015 that she was the victim of sexual crimes by the suspect via Facebook.
The SAFE Team began an investigation and found that the suspect had allegedly befriended the victim on Facebook and enticed her to send nude photos of herself to him. After the victim complied, the suspect began to pressure her for more graphic photos and videos. When the victim refused, the suspect threatened to send the nude photos to her entire Facebook Friends list. Fearing her pictures would be shared with her friends and relatives, the victim disclosed the extortion to her father. They then reported it to Los Angeles County Sheriff’s deputies in the Antelope Valley.
Based on the information supplied by the teen, detectives were able to locate the suspect and serve a search warrant at his home in the 8300 block of Rosemead Boulevard, Pico Rivera. The suspect’s computers and social media sites were searched and the suspect was identified as Cesar Estrada.
The SAFE Team detectives discovered over 26,000 pages of conversations and texts between Mr. Estrada and girls in multiple states making similar threats. All of the reported victims were teenage Hispanic girls.
Bail has been set at $3 million dollars.
Child safety and internet awareness are very important when children are using the internet. It is the parent’s responsibility to make sure children stay safe online. The best tool a child has for screening material found on the internet is his or her brain. Children should be educated about sexual exploitation, excessive violence, communication with strangers and other issues that concern child safety. Monitor children when they’re online and monitor the time they spend online. Inform children to always advise a parent or responsible adult if they find something scary or threatening on the internet. They should never give out their name, address, phone number, school or any other personal information. Teach them not to communicate with a person who they have not physically met and/or personally know.
Predators who believe they are communicating with minors, and will not get caught, are ill-informed. Even if you have a “fake social media account” or you don’t use your real name, we will still find you, and you will be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law.