RIVERSIDE, California – An Inland Empire man pleaded guilty late this afternoon to a federal child exploitation offense after coercing at least six boys around the nation to send him sexually explicit videos – some of which were posted on the internet when victims refused to send additional images and videos.
Francisco Javier Soledad, 25, of Eastvale, pleaded guilty today to one count of using the internet to induce a minor to engage in criminal sexual activity.
In a plea agreement filed in United States District court, Soledad admitted victimizing six boys between the ages of 12 and 15 over the course of several months in 2016. Soledad found the victims – who lived across the nation, from California to Georgia – on social media sites he accessed under the handle “linkinparkrocks.” Soledad pleaded guilty to one count related to a victim in Illinois, but he admitted engaging in similar conduct with at least five other boys he communicated with via Snapchat, text messages and email.
According to court documents, Soledad assumed different personas – sometimes a 13-year-old boy, and other times an adult woman – to convince the victims to send him explicit photographs and videos. When several of the victims refused demands to send additional images, Soledad threatened to publish the previously sent images on social media platforms. In at least one instance, Soledad published one of the victim's nude images on Twitter along with the victim's Twitter handle.
Soledad further admitted in his plea agreement that he possessed on his digital devices more than 5,000 images and videos of child pornography and child erotica. The majority of the child pornography images appear to have been produced by the children depicted. Law enforcement is reviewing the thousands of images and is continuing to try to identify all of the children Soledad appears to have victimized.
Soledad pleaded guilty before United States District Judge Jesus G. Bernal, who scheduled a sentencing hearing on January 22.
The charge of enticing a minor to engage in criminal sexual activity carries a mandatory minimum sentence of 10 years in prison and a maximum possible sentence of life. In the plea agreement, prosecutors have agreed not to seek a sentence of longer than 14 years.
Once he completes any prison sentence he receives, Soledad will be required to register as a sex offender, and he will be prohibited from having unsupervised contact with minors and going to places to where young people congregate.
This case is being prosecuted by Special Assistant United States Attorney Teresa K.B. Beecham of the Riverside Branch Office.
Component(s): USAO – California, Central
Contact: Thom Mrozek Spokesperson/Public Affairs Officer United States Attorney's Office Central District of California (Los Angeles) 213-894-6947
Press Release Number: 17-183
Central District of California DOJ / 17-183 / October 16, 2017