CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas (ValleyCentral) —A Corpus Christi man was ordered to life in prison after using social media to entice a young girl to engage in sexual activity.
Robert Velasquez, 35, was ordered to federal prison on Thursday, according to a press release from Acting U.S. Attorney Jennifer B. Lowery.
Senior U.S. District Judge Janis Graham Jack ordered he serve the rest of his life in prison.
The investigation began in January 2019. Authorities reivewed more than 50,000 social media chats leading to the identification of over 10 girls ranging from eight to 17 years of age that Velasquez victimized.
Velasquez used social media accounts to determine that his victims were local and underage, then proceeded to have long conversations to get the girls to meet for sex. Velasquez photographed the children during their encounters in several instances, the release stated.
“Using any type of social media to target our children is deplorable,” said Acting U.S. Attorney Jennifer B. Lowery in the release. “Such communication avenues can be wonderful tools to share stories and connect with people, but we must remain vigilant and cautious. This defendant abused these systems and hunted for victims who were specifically underage and local. Thankfully, he will be behind bars, but the case is a good reminder to monitor our children’s activity and to be careful about having identifiable information readily available.”
The FBI and the Corpus Christi Police Department Internet Crimes Against Children conducted the investigation.