California

Investigators seek help in case of Merced County man accused of exploiting boys online

Nikko Adolfo Perez, 26, of Atwater
Nikko Adolfo Perez, 26, of Atwater

The U.S. Department of Justice asked residents again this week for more help in the indictment of an Atwater man accused of bribing and threatening boys younger than 11 to provide him with child pornography.

A federal grand jury returned a three-count indictment against 26-year-old Nikko Adolfo Perez in September, charging him with one count each of sexual exploitation of children, coercion or enticement of a minor and receipt of child pornography, investigators said.

Investigators said Tuesday they believe there may be more victims.

Using the Instagram screen name “captainamerica272018,” according to a news release, Perez coerced two Utah boys, ages 8 and 10, into taking sexually explicit photos and sharing them with him through social media.

He offered the boys Google Play credits, which can be redeemed for video games, if they engaged in the sexual acts or poses, according to investigators. Perez also threatened to hurt their family members if they did not comply, the release said.

The man also used social media sites like Omegle, Instagram, Snapchat, Kik and others to get the pictures, investigators said.

Perez faces 15 to 30 years in prison for the sexual exploitation count, 10 years to life for the coercion and enticement count, and five to 20 years for the receipt of child pornography, according to investigators.

If convicted, along with prison time, Perez could be fined $250,000 per count and faces a lifetime term of supervised release, according to the DOJ. Assistant U.S. Attorney David Gappa is prosecuting the case.

The FBI can be reached calling 1-800-225-5324 and selecting the option for the Nikko Adolfo Perez investigation. You may also contact your local FBI office, the nearest American Embassy or Consulate, or you can submit a tip online at tips.fbi.gov.

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