BAY CITY, Texas — A Texas deputy was arrested on Wednesday morning for allegedly cyberstalking a minor he met playing Minecraft online and soliciting explicit images and videos from the female victim.
25-year-old Pasquale T. Salas, also known as Gino, a Matagorda County Sheriff's Office deputy, was arrested in Bay City, Texas, this morning.
According to federal prosecutors, Salas met the female victim, who resides in Worcester County, Massachusetts, on Minecraft in 2014 when she was 12 years old.
"Salas and the girl communicated on a private chat room and then moved those communications to various other platforms, including text messaging, Skype and Snapchat," read a press release from the U.S. Attorney's Office in the District of Massachusetts. "Salas repeatedly solicited the minor to transmit sexually explicit images and videos of herself."
"Beginning as early as 2016, it is alleged that Salas intimidated the victim into maintaining contact with him and sending additional sexually explicit material by threatening that he would publish the minor’s sexually explicit images and videos to her family and her friends," continued the release. "As recently as May 2019, when the victim attempted to terminate contact with Salas, he repeatedly sent threatening communications to the victim, using web-based applications to disguise the source of the communications."
Salas will appear in federal court in the Southern District of Texas tomorrow and in federal court in Massachusetts at a later date.
The charge of cyberstalking carries a sentence of up to five years in prison, up to three years of supervised release, and a fine of up to $250,000.