Prosecutors in Los Angeles said a Camp Pendleton-based Marine was taken into custody, accused of cyberstalking multiple young women.
Oceanside resident Johao Miguel Chavarri, 25, allegedly used the alias Michael Frito to create numerous online accounts to "repeatedly stalk, harass and threaten women who would not give in to his demands that, among other things, they send him nude, sexually explicit or otherwise compromising photos and videos of themselves," according to investigators.
Chavarri made his first court appearance Wednesday afternoon in Los Angeles. He has been charged with stalking in connection to the case and faces a sentence of up to five years in prison if convicted.
A spokesperson for the Marine Corps said the 1st Marine Division is closely monitoring Chavarri's case and is cooperating with investigators.
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"We are closely monitoring the case of Lance Corporal Jahao Chavarri, a 1st Marine Division service member recently taken into custody by federal authorities. The Division is committed to justice and the rule of law and is fully cooperating with the investigating agencies
The victims are all connected in some way to Torrance, California, Chavarri’s hometown, officials said in a news release sent on Wednesday, adding that some of the victims were allegedly tormented for more than a year.
Chavarri is accused of repeatedly threatening that "if his victims refused to comply with his demands, he would publish sexually explicit photos and videos of the victims online or on well-known pornography websites. He also allegedly threatened to distribute the photos or videos to the victims’ boyfriends, friends, families or employers, whom he would often identify by name."
Prosecutors said that Chavarri told several of the victims, via Instagram, that he would "spend his ‘whole life ruining’ their lives."
Chavarri was released on a $30,000 bond following his court appearance and his location is now being monitored. His arraignment is scheduled for March 8.
Anybody with information about the case is being urged to call the FBI’s Los Angeles Field Office at (310) 477-6565.