California man faces time behind bars for harassing women online.
Former Marine Johao Miguel Chavarri is facing a five-year stint in prison because of criminal behavior he engaged in from May 2019 to February 2021. During the time of his criminal activity, Chavarri was an active marine. While operating under the name of Michael, Frito cyberstalked and sextorted several young women during that two year time span.
Sextortion is an issue that is unfortunately common due to how easily accessible the internet and social media sites are. The crime involves a person threatening to distribute private videos and images, usually which are sexual and some of which a victim may not even realize exist. If the victim refuses to give into this person’s demands that also tend to be of a sexual or even financial nature, then they will send out those images/videos usually to friends, employers, family members, and even pornographic sites. There could also be threats of harm against the victim and their family or friends.
Chavarri engaged in such behavior towards these young women. Some did comply at first, but if they refused to send more explicit images (or refused right from the beginning), then the harassment would begin. With the use of multiple accounts, the former marine threatened to send the content already in his possession to the victims’ inner circle. He also said he’d publish the pictures and videos on popular pornography sites such as Pornhub, knowing full well that the lives of his victims would never be the same if he did.
All the victims have some connection to Torrance, California, which is Chavarri’s hometown. He allegedly knew the victims he was targeting. This made many of the women feel comfortable sending the explicit content.
Besides the five years he received in federal prison for stalking, the former marine will need to pay a $15,000 fine. Once those five years are up, he will have to serve three years of supervised release.
Sextortion has been on the rise in recent years and those who are often at risk are teenagers and young adults. Though keep in mind, anyone can fall victim to this due to how clever and slick these people can get. They can be very manipulative, assuring their victims that the content will be kept private. Sometimes, these individuals even make up fake identities to carry out their cyberstalking activities.
To protect oneself from sextortion, it is best to refuse to ever send compromising images or videos to another person. It doesn’t matter if they are strangers, a boyfriend/girlfriend, or a husband/wife. It’s best never to create this type of content with a significant other. People can change over time, relationships change, and partners may certain things until a crisis such as a separation or divorce.
If complicit in making intimate images and videos, at the very least, individual should take some safety precautions such as turning their faces away from the camera or concealing any identifying marks or tattoos. This makes it more difficult for people to engage in sextortion if a relationship goes south.