BALTIMORE (AP) — A Maryland man has pleaded guilty to charges stemming from the use of his cellphone and the internet to coerce three underage girls to have sex with him, according to a federal prosecutor's office.
Anthony Gonzalez, 40, of Aberdeen pleaded guilty on Monday, U.S. Attorney for Maryland Erek L. Barron said in a news release.
In June 2018, Gonzalez contacted a girl who said on a social media application that she was 18 years old but admitted to Gonzalez that she was 16, the news release said. That month, he convinced the teenager to sneak out of a hotel room she was sharing with her father to have sex, the news release said.
Gonzalez met a second victim when she was 13 who declined and blocked him, leading a mutual friend to encourage her to talk to him, according to the news release. A third victim was 15 when Gonzalez met her in 2018. He convinced her to send him sexually explicit images of herself, which she did more than 500 times, prosecutors said.
If the court accepts his plea agreement, Gonzalez faces up to 16 years in prison when he is sentenced in February.