MATAGORDA COUNTY, Texas - A Matagorda County sheriff's deputy was arrested and is charged with cyberstalking a girl from the East Coast.
According to authorities, 25-year-old Pasquale Salas met the minor female victim while playing "Minecraft" online. The girl is from Worcester County, Massachusetts.
What we know
Salas met the girl while playing the game in 2014, when the girl was 12 years old.
Salas and the girl communicated in a private chatroom and then moved their conversations to other platforms, including text messaging, Skype and Snapchat, according to authorities.
According to officials, Salas repeatedly asked the girl to send sexually explicit images and videos of herself.
Authorities said Salas intimidated the girl into maintaining contact with him and sending more photos and videos by threatening to show the photos and videos to the girl's family and friends.
As recently as May 2019, authorities said the girl attempted to terminate contact with Salas. When she did, "he repeatedly sent threatening communications to the victim, using web-based applications to disguise the source of the communications," according to authorities.
Project Safe Childhood
The arrest was made as a part of Project Safe Childhood. In 2006, the Department of Justice created Project Safe Childhood, a nationwide initiative designed to protect children from exploitation and abuse. For more information about Project Safe Childhood, click here.
Salas is due in court in Texas this week and will appear in federal court in Worcester County at a later date.
Anyone with questions about the case is urged to call the U.S. Attorney's Office at 617-748-3274.
The cyberstalking charge carries a sentence of up to five years in prison and a fine of up to $250,000.
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