LANCASTER – A 19-year-old man who allegedly claimed to be a modeling agent and extorted young girls into sending him naked photos of themselves was ordered Tuesday to stand trial on nearly 150 criminal counts.
Superior Court Judge Christopher Estes found sufficient evidence to require Cesar Mauricio Estrada-Davila to proceed to trial on 106 felony and 42 misdemeanor counts, according to Deputy District Attorney Jon Hatami, who is handling the case with colleague Scott Yang.
Three other felony counts against Estrada-Davila were dismissed, according to Hatami.
Prosecutors allege that Estrada-Davila reached out to girls on a social media website between January and April of last year, claiming to be a modeling agent and insisting he could make them famous. He would then allegedly ask the girls to send him photos of themselves in their underwear.
After receiving those photos, he threatened to forward the pictures to the girls’ friends and family unless they sent him nude photos of themselves, prosecutors allege.
A 14-year-old Antelope Valley girl eventually confided in her parents, who alerted authorities, according to the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department.
Prosecutors said there are 21 alleged victims between the ages of 12 and 17.
Estrada-Davila, who’s due back in a Lancaster courtroom on Jan. 20, faces multiple life sentences if convicted as charged, according to the District Attorney’s Office.
He remains jailed in with bail set at more than $3 million.
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