Whittier man arrested for sextortion of teens on Kik app, deputies say

WHITTIER, Calif. (KABC) -- A Whittier man was arrested for targeting teenage girls for sextortion and sexual assault, according to authorities.

The Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department said a 16-year-old girl reported that a man she met on the social messaging app Kik had threatened to hurt her if she didn't send him nude pictures in October of 2016.

Detectives said 27-year-old Josh Manuel Magana had learned enough about the victim through her social media posts to convince her that he knew where she lived and what school she attended.

Using the screen name "thegiftedmonster," Magana continued to threaten the teen until she sent him nude photos, officials stated.

The sheriff's department said Magana was able to evade investigators by attempting to mask his internet address, but detectives were eventually able to track him down.

A search warrant was served at Magana's apartment in unincorporated Whittier on Tuesday.

During the search, deputies said Magana's cellphone contained more photographs of another underage girl and showed a conversation in which he threatened her in a similar manner to the first victim.

Detectives said Magana, using the same user name, threatened to harm the 17-year-old girl if she didn't send him nude pictures in early 2017.

After the teen sent the nude photos to Magana, authorities said he threatened to distribute the pictures on the internet and to her friends and family unless she had sex with him.

Deputies said the teen met Magana at his home where he sexually assaulted her.

Magana continued to threaten and extort the teenager for sex throughout January, officials stated.

The sheriff's department said the 17-year-old girl hadn't told anyone about the sextortion or assaults until she was contacted by detectives.

Investigators said additional photos and videos that showed the assault of the 17-year-old girl were recovered from Magana's apartment.

Magana was arrested and faces numerous counts of aggravated sexual assault, extortion and possession of child pornography.

He was held on $910,000 bail.

Detectives said they believe Magana has more victims, and urged anyone who had been contacted by "thegiftedmonster" to call the Los Angeles Regional Human Trafficking Task Force at (323) 526-5156.
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