Magnolia man charged with sexual exploitation of children, prosecutors say

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Sunday, July 23, 2023 10:55PM

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MAGNOLIA, Texas (KTRK) — A man is accused of hacking into at least 200 young girls’ social media accounts to blackmail them for sexual content, according to the FBI.

The video above is ABC13’s 24/7 live stream channel.

Andrew Venegas, 22, was charged with sexual exploitation of children on July 12, according to federal prosecutors.

Federal documents accuse Venegas of using a fake name that he watermarked on videos and images of young girls that appeared to be underage.

Investigators say law enforcement was able to identify him using records from a number of various electronic providers.

A website believed to be run by Venegas showcases sexually explicit, sexually suggestive, and/or nude images of underage girls and mentions several victims were hacked through Snapchat accounts as a service offered.

Numerous victims throughout the country have reported that their images or videos were posted on the website after being hacked, according to federal prosecutors.

Investigators say the victims were made aware of the content after being contacted and threatened to record themselves doing sexual acts to prevent being further exposed.

Prosecutors said they have evidence that shows the victims were underage in the videos.

Records say the images depict teenage girls in high school cheerleading outfits. The fake name believed to be used by Venegas on the dark web advertised various prices for pornography, some including minors, in exchange for bitcoin.

Charging documents reveal several text messages of the underage girls being blackmailed.

Authorities told ABC13 that Venegas wouldn’t let FBI agents use his face/biometric IDs to access his phone, hindering access to evidence.

According to online records, Venegas remains in custody.

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