Vista man pleads guilty to manipulating minors into sending explicit photographs of themselves

SAN DIEGO (KUSI) — A Vista man who pleaded guilty in federal court to seeking to manipulate minors into sending sexually explicit photographs of themselves to him online is set to be sentenced on August 25.

Joseph Daniel Saucedo, 26, plead guilty Thursday and is facing 15 to 40 years in prison.

According to court documents, Saucedo posed as a teenage girl he called “Amy Jennings” to communicate with an 11-year-old Canadian boy.

The two had innocent conversations until Saucedo, pretending to be “Amy,” sent naked pictures of young girls and asked the boy to communicate with “her friend” — Saucedo — in return.

When the boy refused, Saucedo told the boy, as “Amy,” that he knew where the victim lived and threatened to shame him into contacting Saucedo.

The boy ultimately relented and texted Saucedo, who then communicated with the boy using FaceTime and displayed his naked torso.

The boy hung up on Saucedo, but the calls and the threats continued until, finally, in January 2016, “Amy” sent the victim a message that included a video of a young boy masturbating.

“Amy” threatened to leak the lewd footage and claim it was the Canadian boy if the boy did not send naked pictures of himself to Saucedo.

Additional investigation revealed that Saucedo had been in communication with other young children, successfully soliciting sexually graphic images from them.

In August 2015, Saucedo struck up a conversation with a 16-year-old Florida girl through Instagram. This time, Saucedo pretended to be a modeling agent looking for bikini and nude models, telling her that “obviously the pay is great.”

When the girl told Saucedo that she was only 16 and would have to check with her parents, he volunteered that they could just “make a portfolio” at no cost to her, and “then we can talk to your parents.”

She demurred again, telling Saucedo that she had “never been comfortable in (her) skin.” He promised to “help with that.”

She continued to refuse his overtures until Saucedo, under the guise of “Amy Jennings,” threatened to blackmail her.

The victim turned to Saucedo for help with “Amy.” Though he initially claimed no knowledge of “Amy” and insisted that his modeling business was legitimate, he quickly agreed to help the girl, for a price — nude pictures of her.

Saucedo asked the victim to write his name on a piece of paper or her hand so he would know the photos were “new.” She acquiesced and sent him topless pictures with “Joe” written across her chest.

Saucedo demanded that the girl continue sending him naked photographs, or “Amy” would post compromising pictures of her. The girl replied that she was “looking into (messaging app) Kik’s legal system” to handle the threatening posts.

Within seconds, Saucedo sought to dissuade the girl from reporting the posts, responding that he would pay off “Amy” because he didn’t want the victim “to get in trouble.” He later told the girl that he had given “Amy” $2,000.

As a means of thanking him, the girl agreed to a sexually explicit FaceTime session with Saucedo. She also sent additional photos of herself naked with “Joe” written on her breasts and above her vagina, again at his request.

Saucedo continued to hound the girl for almost a year, from August 2015 to June 2016, requesting more naked pictures. He even sent her a photo of stacks of money to elicit more naked images of her.

She sent him one more photograph in October 2015, but then stopped responding.

Categories: Local San Diego News