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           CONCORD – Robert Corleto, 43, of Hudson, pleaded guilty in federal court to sexual exploitation of a minor, United States Attorney Scott W. Murray announced today.

           According to court documents and statements made in court, Corleto used a social media account on KIK Messenger to entice and coerce a minor to take images of herself engaging in sexually explicit conduct.  Corleto sent at least one of those images to an undercover officer over KIK Messenger on March 18, 2019.  During the course of the investigation, officers obtained a warrant to search Corleto’s cell phone.  A forensic extraction of the device revealed that Corleto had between 10 and 150 images depicting the victim, as well as other minor children. 

           Corleto is scheduled to be sentenced on March 20, 2021.

           “The internet can be a dangerous place for children, affording anonymity to criminals who would seek to exploit their innocence,” said U.S. Attorney Murray.  “Those who manipulate children into creating pornographic images are committing a serious federal crime and will be prosecuted.  Internet predators should be aware that law enforcement agencies are working around the clock to bring them to justice. It is imperative that we keep our children safe by targeting those who seek to exploit them online.”

            “Robert Corleto manipulated a 12-year-old girl into providing him with sexually explicit images and videos by using fear that their so-called mutual online friend would harm herself if the victim refused. The crime for which he has admitted guilt today is incredibly disturbing,” said Joseph R. Bonavolonta, Special Agent in Charge of the FBI Boston Division. “This case is a prime example of how a child can be victimized in the safety of their own home. Parents, please talk to your children about the dangers of the internet, make it clear to them they are not to blame if they fall victim to a predator, and contact law enforcement immediately if you suspect something is wrong.”

            This matter was investigated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the Hudson Police Department.  The case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Anna Krasinski.

            In February 2006, the Department of Justice introduced Project Safe Childhood, a nationwide initiative designed to protect children from online exploitation and abuse.  Led by the United States Attorney’s Offices, Project Safe Childhood marshals federal, state and local resources to better locate, apprehend, and prosecute individuals who exploit children via the Internet, as well as identify and rescue victims. For more information about Project Safe Childhood, please visit www.projectsafechildhood.gov.

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