A Missouri man pleaded guilty in federal court Thursday to convincing 10 teen boys to send him nude photos and videos by pretending he was a woman, The St. Louis Post-Dispatch reported.
Daniel Avetta, 28, also convinced two of those teens to have sexual activity with him by pretending he was dying of cancer, the newspaper reported.
Avetta pleaded guilty in U.S. District Court in St. Louis to 12 federal charges. Included in Avetta’s plea was the admission that he pretended online to be an 18-year-old woman named Jessica Gable. Through Facebook and Facebook Messenger, he convinced the teens to send him nude photos and videos of their genitals, at times returning nude photos of a woman he said was Gable, Assistant U.S. Attorney Colleen Lang said.
Avetta was indicted in November 2017 on four counts of production of child pornography, six counts of receiving child pornography, and two counts of online enticement of a minor, KTVI reported.
The alleged incidents took place between Jan. 1, 2017, and April 3, 2017, the television station reported.
Avetta faces up to 30 years in prison and fines up to $250,000 on each production charge, KTVI reported. The receipt charges carry a 20-year maximum sentence each. The online enticement charge warrants a sentence between 10 years and life imprisonment.
According to Lang, Avetta, persuaded a 16-year-old to visit him at his trailer in Catawissa by pretending to be a cancer patient who needed a caretaker. They had sexual contact, the Post-Dispatch reported. Avetta then convinced a 15-year-old to have sexual contact by saying it was his “dying wish” to be with another male, Lang said.
Avetta will sentenced on Nov. 8, KTVI reported.
Download the new AJC app. More local news, more breaking news and in-depth journalism.