A 22-year-old New Jersey man has been sentenced in federal court in Oakland to 10 years in prison for victimizing a 15-year-old Bay Area girl by posting nude photos of her on websites and Facebook.
Alex Gonzalez of Wenonah, N.J., pleaded guilty before U.S. District Judge Phyllis Hamilton in November to one count of distributing child pornography and one count of possessing child pornography.
He was sentenced by Hamilton on Wednesday.
According to a prosecution sentencing brief and an FBI affidavit filed in the case, Gonzalez, then a student at a college in New Jersey, met the unidentified victim on a video chat website in the summer of 2012.
Over the next several months, he persuaded her to send him a number of nude photographs, including some that were sexually explicit.
After the high school student told him in November that she no longer wished to communicate with him, Gonzalez began a campaign to punish her by posting nude photos on two Internet pornography sites, according to the documents.
On one of the sites, hosted in Russia, Gonzalez posted the victim’s name, age and cell phone number along with the photos, causing her to receive phone calls from strangers until she changed her phone number, according to the FBI affidavit.
Gonzalez also opened a fake Facebook account under an assumed name, friended many of the girl’s friends and in December 2012 persuaded the victim herself – who did not realize Gonzalez was behind the request – to become a friend.
Gonzalez then posted some of the nude photos on Facebook and tagged them with the victim’s name, thus enabling her friends to see the photos, prosecutors said.
“The feeling that (the victim) must have experienced while walking the halls of her high school after this incident unfolded is something that no young child should ever have to endure. This case represents cyber-stalking at its worst,” prosecutors wrote.
Federal prosecutors had asked for a 14-year sentence, while Gonzalez’s defense lawyers, noting that he has no previous criminal record and has been receiving therapy, sought a five-year term.
Defense attorney Robert Beles wrote in a brief submitted to Hamilton, “What we have here is a confused young man who realizes that he has done serious damage to another person and is still sorting out why he did this and the totality of the pain that he caused the victim and her family.”