Former Peninsula driving instructor sentenced to 18 years for convincing minors to make pornography

SAN MATEO — A former driving instructor based on the Peninsula was sentenced to 18 years in prison for coercing teenage girls into creating pornography to distribute online and for engaging in sexual acts with some of them, according to the U.S. Attorney for the Northern District of California.

Johnnatan Zelaya Izaguirre, 39, of Redwood City pled guilty to the federal charges on May 13, more than one year after his initial arrest in January 2022, according to a news release Friday from U.S. Attorney Ismail J. Ramsey. In his plea agreement, Izaguirre admitted to recruiting girls between the ages of 14 and 17 to create pornographic images to post online.

He admitted to having sex with at least two of the girls, including one of them on video. He then distributed that video to what federal prosecutors described as a “client.”

Zelaya recruited some victims through social media, using his driving instruction business as a front to find students to recruit. He told the girls he would manage the sale of their pornographic content over social media, acting as a middleman to negotiate prices and to describe the videos to clients.

On the day of his Jan. 4, 2022 arrest, Zelaya had at least 41 videos and 10 photos of his underaged victims on his phone, prosecutors said.

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He was charged on May 1 with two counts of coercion and enticement of a minor, one count of receipt of child pornography, one count of possession of child pornography, and one count of distribution of child pornography. He pleaded guilty to all charges.

After his 18-year prison sentence, Zelaya will be required to serve 15 years of supervised release.

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Source:: The Mercury News – Entertainment


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