Crime - Sacto 911

New Jersey man accused of trying to hook up with area youths, prosecutors say

A 21-year-old man from New Jersey has been accused of preying on multiple Sacramento-area junior high students over the last two years.

Michael Anaya-Otero has been charged with production of child pornography and interstate travel with the intent to engage in illicit sexual conduct with a minor, the U.S. Attorney’s Office announced Friday in a news release.

Anaya-Otero allegedly flew from Elizabeth, N.J., to Placer County in April 2016 and January 2017 to engage in sexual conduct with a seventh-grader, returning home both times with sexually explicit pictures of the victim on his cellphone, according to court documents.

When authorities seized Anaya-Otero’s phone, they also allegedly found sexually explicit images of a 14-year-old El Dorado County girl he had been messaging on Snapchat and Instagram beginning in June 2017. He was arrested Jan. 5 in New Jersey following research by a Homeland Security Investigations team working under the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement.

Anaya-Otero faces 15 to 30 years in prison and a fine of up to $250,000 if convicted. He would be forced to register as a sex offender.

Benjy Egel: 916-321-1052, @BenjyEgel