FRESNO, Calif. (KFSN) -- A Selma man is locked up on charges that he sexually abused boys he met through online phone apps -- and then blackmailed them.
Investigators say the suspect, 27-year-old Ricardo Carillo, posed as a girl to entice the boys to send provocative pictures of themselves online.
Using apps many adults may have never heard of, investigators believe at least five boys were ensared by 27-year-old Ricardo Carillo, and some were sexually abused. Operating online from a room he rented in a house in Selma, Jose Ricardo Carillo Montes used apps such as Whisper and Kik to connect with his victims -- teenaged boys who thought they were chatting and exchanging naughty pictures with a sexy young woman.
"He would post pictures of a 19-year-old female and the boys thought they were in fact communicating with this 19-year-old woman, when in fact they were communicating with Carillo," said Margaret Mims, Fresno County Sheriff.
Investigators with the Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force discovered the boys were enticed to send sexually explicit pictures of themselves to the girl. Then Fresno County Sheriff Margaret Mims says, Carillo struck. "Carillo actually blackmailed the boys and said if you don't do what I want you to do I will spread these photographs around your neighborhood and your school and with family members."
Mims says Carillo personally met the boys and had physical sexual contact with some of them at his home and in public places. He was initially arrested in Selma last September and computers and electronic devices were confiscated. Investigators delayed filing charges until they had more evidence and Carillo was released from custody -- until this week, when they arrested him again at a home in Dinuba.
Sheriff Mims says it's likely there are other victims out there and issued a reminder to parents. "Take a look at the apps your children are using, and if they have apps such as Whisper or Kik they may be victimized by people like Carillo."
This case was actually discovered when one of the boys who was victimized by Carillo walked up to a sheriff's deputy and told him what was going on. Federal Marshalls were called in and made the arrest. The pictures of the girl Carillo sent were just some he found at a porn site.
Mims says anyone who may have been victimized by Carillo is urged to come forward and contact the sheriffs office.