PLATTE COUNTY, Mo. - A Kansas City man has been arrested for allegedly trying to blackmail a teen into having sex with him.
Denis Aguilar was charged on June 27 with sexual trafficking of a child.
Prosecutors said an online social network connected a 16-year-old KC girl with Aguilar this spring.
Aguilar was 22-years-old at the time, but he claimed he was 18-years-old. He persistently messaged the girl, and he convinced her to send him a sexually explicit photo.
After the first photo, Aguilar demanded more pictures and to meet the girl for sex. He said if he didn’t get what he wanted, he would post the picture he’d already received online and humiliate her.
The girl told her parents, and they called the police. After the victim’s family reported the crime to the Kansas City, Mo. Police on April 10, a KCPD officer continued conversations with Aguilar.
Last week, Aguilar planned to pick the girl up at a Northland McDonald’s. When he arrived, Aguilar was arrested by KCPD detectives.
Sexual blackmail, or “sextortion,” is a growing crime. A USA Today article called it “an online epidemic against children.”
The Internet Crimes Against Children task force counted 7,000 reports of online enticement of children last year.
“The vast majority of cases probably aren’t even reported to authorities, but we’re seeing more and more,” Platte County Prosecutor Eric 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.”
Prosecutors believe this may not have been Aguilar’s first attempt to extort sex. Zahnd said they’ve received information Aguilar may have attempted to extort sex from other victims.
If you or someone you know has been coerced into having sex with Aguilar or any other person, call the TIPS Hotline at (816) 474 – TIPS.