Marine Charged with Cyber-Stalking

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A serving member of the United States Marine Corp has been charged with cyber-stalking young women in California.

Lance Corporal Johao Miguel Chavarri allegedly posed as a married underwater welder from New York City to stalk at least six victims and threaten them into sharing personally compromising images and video content with him. 

Chavarri is accused of demanding nude pictures, sexually explicit videos and images, and pictures of his alleged victims feet. 

The alleged victims of the 25-year-old Camp Pendleton Marine are all reportedly linked in some way to his home city of Torrance, located in Los Angeles County, California.

According to a criminal complaint, Chavarri created multiple online accounts under the alias Michael Frito between 2019 and 2021 and used them to wage a sextortion campaign.

Chavarri is accused of repeatedly stalking, harassing and threatening women for prolonged periods. In some cases, the sextortion demands he allegedly made continued for over a year. 

According to the complaint, Chavarri told multiple victims that he would publish sexual photos and videos of them online or upload them to well-known pornography websites unless they complied with his demands. Chavarri is also accused of threatening to disseminate compromising images of his victims to the victims’ romantic partners, friends, families or employers, whom he would often identify by name. 

“As alleged, Chavarri also created fake social media accounts mimicking some of the victims’ names and sent harassing messages to some of the victims’ friends and family members,” said the Department of Justice’s Office of Public Affairs.

“One message sent by Chavarri to multiple victims via Instagram stated that he would spend his “whole life ruining their lives.”

Chavarri, a resident of Oceanside, was arrested on February 8 on a federal charge of cyber-stalking. He made his initial appearance before the Los Angeles federal court on February 9.

The court released Chavarri on a bond of $30,000. The terms of his release included location monitoring and travel restrictions.

Chavarri’s arraignment is scheduled for March 8. If convicted of cyber-stalking, he could serve a maximum sentence of five years in federal prison. 

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