A Canadian man was charged in federal court after sending scores of messages over social media attempting to coerce an 11-year-old from Ohio to engage in sexual activity.
Daniel Jason Wnek, 27, of Toronto, was charged via criminal information with one count of coercion and/or enticement of a minor.
Wnek contacted the victim, identified as H.M., via Instagram in 2017. Wnek used the photograph of a younger male and falsely told H.M. he was 14 years old. Wnek eventually switched their communication means to Snapchat, according to court documents. The case was brought about in Auglaize County.
"This case demonstrates how predators will target our children over social media by posing as people different from who they truly are," U.S. Attorney Justin E. Herdman said. "Parents and trusted adults need to make it their business to know who their kids are communicating with."
Wnek eventually sent messages to H.M. that were sexual in nature, such as: "Would u lie on top of me when we meet?" and "Yea x we can take our pants off n I'll bring a blanket," according to court documents.
Wnek on Nov. 2, 2017, sent H.M. a sexually explicit photo via Snapchat. He also suggested picking her up, engaging in sexual activity and asked H.M. to send him sexually explicit photos of herself, according to court documents.
H.M.'s family contacted police and on Nov. 3, in the presence of law enforcement, another person posing as H.M. engaged in a Snapchat conversation with Wnek. He continued to solicit H.M. for sex, sent H.M. sexually explicit images and asked H.M. to send him sexually explicit images of her, according to court documents.
On Nov. 13, Wnek advised who he thought was H.M. that he planned to travel to Disney World in Florida for his birthday. Wnek was arrested after traveling from Toronto to Orlando, according to court documents.
FBI Special Agent in Charge Stephen D. Anthony said: "Children are to be cherished, not victimized. The FBI will continue to work with our law enforcement partners to bring to justice those who would prey on our children."
If convicted, the defendant's sentence will be determined by the Court after reviewing factors unique to this case, including the defendant's prior criminal record, if any, the defendant's role in the offense and the characteristics of the violation. In all cases the sentence will not exceed the statutory maximum and in most cases it will be less than the maximum.
The investigating agency in this case is the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the Auglaize County Sheriff's Office. The case is being handled by Assistant U.S. Attorney Tracey Ballard Tangeman.