73ºF

Former Matagorda County deputy sheriff pleads guilty to exploiting young girl

photo

WORCESTER, Mass. – A former deputy sheriff from Texas pleaded guilty Thursday to sexually exploiting a young girl from Massachusetts he met while playing an online game, starting when she was 12 years old.

Pasquale Salas, 26, pleaded guilty via video conference in federal court in Worcester to cyberstalking and sexual exploitation of a minor, Masslive.com reported.

The former deputy sheriff with the Matagorda County Sheriff’s Office southwest of Houston met the Worcester County girl in 2014 while playing the video game Minecraft, federal prosecutors said.

During private conversations on various platforms, Salas coerced the girl into sending him hundreds of sexually explicit videos and images of herself, prosecutors said.

When she tried to end contact with Salas, he threatened to send the explicit images and videos to her friends and family and threatened to harm her sister, prosecutors said. Salas also tracked the girl and controlled what she wore, authorities said.

The girl went to authorities last June when she was 17.

Sentencing is scheduled for Sept. 3.