Winona man indicted in sextortion scheme targeting 60
(ABC 6 News) – The U.S. Department of Justice charged a man in an online “sextortion scheme” which victimized over 60 young girls nationwide and abroad.
“Online predators are using social media apps to befriend, coerce, and ultimately extort children and teens,” said U.S. Attorney Andrew Luger. “Thousands of minor victims have been the target of this horrific exploitation. It’s imperative that we as a community engage with our kids about sextortion schemes so we can prevent them in the first place.”
Valentin Silva Quintana, 30, is accused of using social media apps to threaten, sexually manipulate and exploits girls mostly between the ages of 9 to 12 in Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, Texas, New Zealand and several more between April 2022 and June 2023.
Quintana allegedly used multiple tactics to coerce victims, claiming to be a friend or partner, occasionally offering money in exchange of photos or videos.
Quintana would then allegedly threaten to send explicit content to friends and family if the victims did not produce more content for him.
According to court documents, “[h]e continued this type of sextortion even as his victims wept and begged him to stop.”
“The sexual exploitation of Minnesota’s children is horrific and tragic but never more so than when the offenses also include the physical assault of the young victims,” BCA Superintendent Drew Evans said. “Our Minnesota Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force will continue to partner with local law enforcement to root out those who commit these acts and help bring them to justice.”
Quintana is indicted on thirteen counts of production of child pornography, one count of distribution and one count of possession of child pornography.
On Jan 25, Quintana appeared before a U.S. District Court.
Although more than 60 minors have been identified, law enforcement suspect Quintana may have exploited more.
If you have any information regarding this incident, you are encouraged to contact Homeland Security Investigations through the toll-free tip line at 1-866-347-2423.