Bay Area Man Sentenced to Five Years for Threatening Teen Girl with Nude Photos

San Francisco – Victor Melero-Luna, a 23-year-old Bay Area man, has been sentenced to five years in federal prison and ordered to pay $3,000 in restitution for his involvement in a disturbing case of online exploitation. Court records reveal that Melero-Luna pleaded guilty to the distribution of child pornography and was sentenced last month. However, he remains out of custody until May 10, when he is required to turn himself in and begin serving his sentence.

Prosecutors agreed to the five-year prison term, taking into account Melero-Luna’s age at the time of the offense. They noted that he was 17 when he received nude pictures of the teenage victim and 18 when he sent them back to her as part of a scheme to intimidate and coerce her into providing more explicit images. Had he been older, prosecutors indicated that they would have sought a lengthier prison sentence.

According to Melero-Luna’s defense attorney, he was a depressed and isolated teenager who primarily interacted with others through his computer. The lawyer cited bullying at school, growing up in a gang-plagued neighborhood, and exposure to violent video games that objectify women, such as Grand Theft Auto and Red Dead Redemption, as contributing factors to his behavior. In a sentencing memo, the defense attorney described the case as deeply regrettable for all parties involved, particularly the victim.

Prosecutors revealed that Melero-Luna repeatedly threatened to “expose” the teenage girl if she did not comply with his demands for more explicit pictures. He also targeted the victim’s friend, who was also a teenager. Both girls reside in another country and met Melero-Luna online. In a text exchange with the victim’s friend, he callously disregarded her age and high school status, stating, “I don’t give a f—.” He further added, “Well RIP to your friend,” followed by a smiley face emoji, and concluded with, “I’ll go to jail with her a– exposed.”

Author: CrimeDoor

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