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American Falls man pleads guilty to sexual exploitation

An American Falls man will be sentenced May 17 on charges of coercion and enticement of a minor. Jesus Nieto,21, pleaded guilty Thursday before Chief U.S. District Judge B. Lynn Winmill in Pocatello. Nieto was indicted by a federal Grand Jury in Pocatello on May 24, 2016. Acting U.S. Attorney Rafael Gonzalez said additional charges were filed in a superseding indictment in December, 2016. According to a plea agreement, Nieto used internet-based social media to communicate with two girls, aged 11 and 15, to solicit sexually explicit pictures. He also persuaded and coerced the girls into engaging in sexual intercourse with him. Court records indicate Nieto communicated with the girls from approximately November 2015 to January 2016. The case was investigated by the American Falls Police Department, with the assistance of the Power County Prosecutor’s Office and U.S. Immigration and Custom Enforcement’s Homeland Security Investigations. The agencies are part of the Idaho Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force. The charge of coercion and enticement of a minor is punishable by up to life in prison, a maximum fine of $250,000 and a term of supervised release of at least five years to life. According to the U.S. Attorney’s Office, the case was brought as part of Project Safe Childhood, a nationwide initiative launched in May 2006 by the Department of Justice to combat the growing epidemic of child sexual exploitation and abuse. Led by the United States Attorneys’ Offices and the Criminal Division’s Child Exploitation and Obscenity Section, Project Safe Childhood marshals federal, state, and local resources to locate, apprehend, and prosecute individuals who sexually exploit children, and to identify and rescue victims. More information about the state task force is available here. For more information about internet safety education, visit here and click on the tab “resources.”

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