Porn Addiction Turns into Possible Crime

June 2, 2009 6:56:09 PM PDT
Anthony Maldonado is facing prison time for some on-line activity that started when he was a kid. He's an adult now and that's exactly why authorities say he's also a criminal and a sexual predator. 20-year-old Maldonado is about to go on trial facing federal child predator charges, but he says his problems started at a much younger age.Anthony Maldonado admits taking naked pictures of himself and sending them over the internet to underage girls. Investigators arrested him nearly two years ago when he was 18-years-old. Maldonado knows his addiction to pornography got him in major trouble when he reached adulthood.

These are the faces of convicted child predators in the valley. They are all older men serving years in prison. A profile Maldonado says is very different from his, "About the time I was 16 that's when it really kicked into high gear and over took my life." Maldonado said his pornography addiction started when he was first exposed to internet chat rooms at the age of 14. He would have explicit conversations with kids his own age and post naked pictures of himself. His behavior carried on until he was 18 years old. That's when detectives busted Maldonado for sending an obscene picture to an officer posing as a minor. Maldonado is being tried in federal court. Maldonado said, "I'm 20 years old. I'm not some 40-year-old or 50-year-old pedophile that they are trying to make me out to be. I got myself into some trouble. I don't condone that. I know everything I did was wrong."

He now faces 10-years in prison and a life time registration as a sex offender. His defense attorney is Charles Magill who said, "Congress was trying to protect children from pedophiles? He is not a pedophile. He is a young man with an age very similar to those he was communicating with."

Clovis Officer Vince Weibert is a cyber crime investigator. He did not work on Maldonado's case. Weibert says for people like Maldonado prosecution is often the best form of intervention, "Often times, people will not seek help until they hit rock bottom, when they have an addiction. Getting arrested, a lot of times will be that wake up call that people need to say my life is going in the wrong direction. I need help."

Maldonado is no longer allowed to use the internet-a place he says that has many bad doors, "Just a way to lure kids in and it overtook my life and almost tore it apart. Parents just need to be more aware of what's going on and help protect their kids so they don't end up like I did."

Maldonado hopes kids hear his story and get help if they have pornography addiction. His attorney said his client declined a plea deal with the U.S. attorney. His trial is scheduled to start on June 16th.

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