An 11-year-old Calgary boy saved multiple U.S. victims from a child predator by taking the “brave step” of contacting police, officials say.
Joseph Daniel Saucedo, 26, of Vista, Calif., was sentenced Friday to 20 years in prison and 20 years of supervised release for attempting to manipulate two children into sending him sexually-explicit photos, and threatening to expose them if they didn’t comply, according to a release from U.S. law enforcement.
Because of this young man, because he came forward and was so brave to do that, we were able to save [more] victims.– Det. Ray Kelly
Det. Ray Kelly with the Calgary Police Service said officers were informed of the situation by the victim’s family, and that at the time, neither Calgary police nor U.S. law enforcement were aware of the offender.
“Obviously for an 11-year-old boy it was quite a brave step to come forward.… I knew this wasn’t a small feat for him to contact police. This was something where he had to go to his parents and tell them what’s going on,” Kelly said.
“Because of this young man, because he came forward and was so brave to do that, we were able to save [more] victims.… That’s a hard thing for a kid to do. But he knew what the right thing was. He identified the risk there and made us aware.”
According to the plea agreement, Saucedo posed as a teenage girl and struck up conversations with the 11-year-old boy using an online messaging app. In his disguise as 16-year-old “Amy,” he attempted to coerce the boy to communicate with Amy’s “friend,” the 26-year-old Saucedo.
When the boy refused, “Amy” sent him a photo of his house and threatened him into relenting. When the two spoke on a video-chat app, Saucedo appeared nude, prompting the boy to hang up. The calls and threats continued, and at this point, the 11-year-old told his family what had been occurring and they went to police.
‘Offenders will play on fear’
“A lot of the times in these types of cases the offenders will play on fear,” said Kelly.
Kelly said police contacted the social media platform, and found the user’s IP address and account were located in the United States, at which point they opened a joint investigation, working with RCMP, San Diego’s Electronic Crimes Working Group, the U.S. Secret Service and U.S. Homeland Security.
“We were able to identify other victims the offender was going after and targeting,” Kelly said.
Through additional investigations and search warrants, police identified nine other underage victims.
“Saucedo’s indifference to his victims’ apparent suffering included disregarding multiple victims’ warnings that his contacts and demands were triggering suicidal thoughts,” the release said.
Kids need to know risks of social media: police
Kelly said the case holds lessons for parents about the importance of talking with their children about the risks of online chat.
“The real key for parents here is to have open communication with their kids. To ensure they know what platforms their kids are on and who they’re speaking with online,” said Kelly.
He said that as a parent, he feels as soon as a kid has touched a keyboard it’s time to have a frank discussion about the risks of social media platforms, and that kids should know that they shouldn’t speak to anyone online that they don’t know in real life.
“A true friend, someone who really values you, is never going to send you something that is questionable or ask you to do anything like that either. Once that takes place, don’t just ignore, don’t just cancel that friendship, let law enforcement know like this young man did.”
But as for you, be strong and do not give up, for your work will be rewarded. – 2 Chronicles 15:7
USA News Headlines
- Hero teacher tackles school gunman
- Suspect in custody after shots fired at Indiana middle school
- Teachers could get a $100,000 death benefit if they die in a school shooting
- Armed bystander kills shooter at Oklahoma restaurant
- Is Biden running for president? Because he sure sounded like it today
- Zinke claims to be geologist, again
- Newly passed House bill would OK the President's military parade
- GOP leaders hold off coup on immigration -- for now
- Richard Branson says this is one of his biggest mistakes
- The startup that wants to bring fake meat to the masses
- 7 startups that want to improve your mental health
- Man traveling down river reunited with his dog
- Boat carrying HS prom collides with docked vessel
- Shaq to pay for funeral of woman fatally shot
- Couple finds 300-pound gator in pool
- Woman searches for hero who saved her
- Students charged after school vandalized
- Water moccasin invades home
- Girl, 12, arrested after threatening note found
- Family of 6 escapes massive house fire
ABC NEWS Headlines
- 'Hero' teacher tackled gunman, student says: 'Most people would never dare'
- Middle schooler returns to class with 2 guns, shoots peer, teacher: Police
- 'You are welcome,' says good Samaritan who turned gun on restaurant shooter
- 30-year-old ordered by court to move from parents' home is offered job, bonus
- Police officer allegedly shoots, kills fellow cop brother in his home
- Judge quits after suspension for sexual acts at courthouse
- USC president to resign over scandal involving former campus gynecologist
- New $12.9 billion warship already needs upgrades and fixes
- Santa Fe family sues suspect's parents, saying guns weren't kept away from 'murderer'
- Commanding officer in deadly USS McCain collision pleads guilty
- Former NAACP leader exposed as white faces fraud charges
- Authorities: Suspected restaurant gunman had gun license
- Body camera footage shows police fatally shoot naked man
- WATCH: Detailed account of how hero teacher took down alleged Indiana school shooter
- WATCH: Hospital staff finds way for patient to watch his twins graduate from high school
- WATCH: 2 bystanders killed gunman firing on crowded restaurantgoers: Police
- WATCH: In 3 weeks, lava has smothered about 15,000 acres of Hawaii's Big Island
- WATCH: Plane passenger faces federal charges after brawl breaks out over beer
- WATCH: Defense secretary says 'possibly some good news' on Korean summit
- WATCH: Tropical storm threatens the Gulf for Memorial Day weekend