A Union City man used social media aliases to solicit sexually explicit content from minors back in 2017 and 2018, U.S. Attorney Philip Sellinger announced.
By John Heinis/Hudson County View
Ramon Zelaya, 36, of Union City, pleaded guilty by videoconference yesterday before U.S. District Judge Claire C. Cecchi to a second superseding indictment charging him with two counts of sexual exploitation of a child.
Between August 20th, 2018 and September 20th, 2018, Zelaya used an alias Instagram account to message a minor victim and entice, threaten, and coerce the minor into creating and sending him sexually explicit images and videos.
From April 2018 through May 2018, Zelaya used an alias Facebook account to conspire with an individual in the Dominican Republic to sexually abuse the individual’s minor child, create images of that abuse, and send the images to Zelaya.
In May 2017, Zelaya used another messaging application to engage an additional underage victim in sexually explicit conversations during which Zelaya requested that the victim take sexually explicit photographs and videos of the victim and send them to him.
The charge of sexual exploitation of a child carries a mandatory minimum penalty of 15 years in prison, a maximum penalty of 30 years in prison, and a $250,000 fine. His sentencing is scheduled for July 20th.
Sellinger credited special agents of the Department of Homeland Security, Homeland Security Investigations, under the direction of Special Agent in Charge Ricky J. Patel, and officers of the Union City Police Department, under the direction of Chief Anthony Facchini, with the investigation leading to the guilty plea.