Platte County authorities have charged a Kansas City man with threatening to post nude photos of a 16-year-old girl if she didn’t have sex with him, and they are asking the public to help find any other victims.
Denis Aguilar, 22, of Kansas City, was charged June 27 with sexual trafficking of a child. He was being held in the Platte County Jail on a $50,000 cash-only bond.
Authorities want to know whether there are other victims, Platte County Prosecutor Eric Zahnd said.
“We have credible information that this man may have tried to extort sex from others,” Zahnd said.
According to court records, the victim and her mother told Kansas City police that Aguilar had requested nude photos of the teen. After the girl sent him photos, Aguilar allegedly threatened to post them online if she did not have sex with him.
The girl told investigators that she was on a social network website that she thought barred anyone older than 18 from using it. The teen and Aguilar met on the website and began communicating with each other through various other social media websites, court documents said.
Aguilar allegedly contended that he was 18 and repeatedly asked the girl to send him nude photos. She said she sent Aguilar a photo thinking that he would “back off” and then stopped communicating with him. However, Aguilar allegedly continued to message her and became angry when she wouldn’t respond.
He then allegedly threatened to post her photo if she didn’t send him another nude photo. She sent him a topless photo of herself, and then he allegedly said he would post the pictures if she did not have sex with him, according to court records.
The victim authorized a police detective to use her online identity. On April 16 the detective began communicating with Aguilar on the last social network he and the victim had used.
Using the victim’s online identity, the detective portrayed himself as another girl, this one 14. Aguilar allegedly wanted to meet the 14-year-old for sex, and he allegedly wanted “the girl” to bring a 14-year-old friend who he said could either have sex with them or watch.
They allegedly arranged to meet at a McDonald’s restaurant in the 6800 block of Northwest 83rd Terrace in Kansas City, and police arrested Aguilar moments after he arrived on June 25.
“There are probably thousands upon thousands of cases (nationally) every year that police and prosecutors never learn about,” Zahnd said. “(Locally) we are seeing an increasing number of cases that are reported, but my guess is, we are just scratching the surface on the number of times that this happens.”
Zahnd urged parents to talk to their children.
“Just last week a national newspaper reported that sextortion is an online epidemic,” Zahnd said. “Everyone, adults and children alike, should be vigilant online, and parents need to teach their children about the dangers that lurk on the Internet.”
Anyone who may be a victim of a similar crime is urged to call the TIPS Hotline at 816-474-TIPS (474-8477).