PORTLAND, Ore.—Juan Carlos Ramon, 33, of Portland, pleaded guilty today to two counts of production of child pornography after sexually exploiting two minor victims, aged six and eight, using musical.ly, a social media application now known as TikTok.
This case underscores the need to monitor the activity of children online and in smartphone apps.
According to court documents, on or about June 28, 2017, Ramon began communicating with two minors using the musical.ly app. He used the screen name “@lexithetiger” and pretended to be a minor female. Ramon encouraged his victims to play a “Simon Says” type game where he would send sexually explicit photos of a minor female and ask his victims to take and send him photos imitating the positions and acts depicted. The minor victims agreed and sent Ramon a series of progressively more explicit self-produced images. A relative of the two victims later discovered the communications and reported it to law enforcement.
Each count of production of child pornography carries a maximum sentence of 30 years in prison with a 15-year mandatory minimum, a $250,000 fine, a $5,000 special assessment and a life term of supervised release with a five-year mandatory minimum. Ramon will be sentenced on September 5, 2019 before U.S. District Court Judge Robert E. Jones.
As part of the plea agreement, Ramon has agreed to pay restitution to his victims identified by the government prior to sentencing and as ordered by the court.
This case was investigated by FBI Portland’s Child Exploitation Task Force (CETF) and is being prosecuted by Natalie Wight, Assistant U.S. Attorney for the District of Oregon.
This case was brought as part of Project Safe Childhood, a nationwide initiative launched in May 2006 by the Department of Justice to combat the growing epidemic of child sexual exploitation and abuse. For more information about Project Safe Childhood, please visit http://www.justice.gov/psc.
The FBI’s Child Exploitation Task Force (CETF) conducts sexual exploitation investigations – many of them undercover – in coordination with other federal, state, and local law enforcement agencies. The Portland FBI’s CETF consists of agents and task force officers from the Beaverton Police Department, Portland Police Bureau, Tigard Police Department, Hillsboro Police Department, and the Clackamas County Sheriff’s Office. The FBI’s CETF is committed to locating and arresting those who prey on children as well as recovering underage victims of sex trafficking and child exploitation.
Anyone who has information about the physical or online exploitation of children are encouraged to call the FBI at (503) 224-4181 or submit a tip online at www.fbi.gov/tips.