21-year-old Nikolas Mariano, from Royal Oak, Michigan, has been sentenced to time in prison after using Snapchat to prey on teen girls and coerce them to engage in sexual acts in 2020.
Described as a “serial abuser of underage girls” by the U.S. Department of Justice, Mariano posed as a minor on social media to convince his teenage victims to send him child pornography, including photos and videos of themselves engaging in sexual acts. According to Law & Crime, he then convinced at least three different 14-year-olds to meet in person.
Mariani confessed to persuading one of his victims to get on birth control and spend the COVID lockdown with him in his apartment.
“Mariani also received images the day before of her genitals and of her masturbating,” the federal records stated. “Images that constitute child pornography and represent Count 2 of this offense.”
On December 31st, 2020, police found one of the victims hiding underneath Mariano’s bed, wearing nothing but a sweatshirt, when they had arrived to arrest him for a separate incident. He had forced another victim to perform oral sex on him in an abandoned house in Detroit, and then deserted her when he left her in a Family Dollar store the next day.
Nikolas Mariano has now been sentenced to 11 years in federal prison for coercing and enticing a minor and receiving child pornography. Prosecutors have stated that there is still another incident being investigated and that Mariano will be facing more charges in the future.