A Harford County man pleaded guilty to charges stemming from coercion and enticement of three underage girls, the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Baltimore said in a news release.
Anthony Gonzalez, 40, of Aberdeen pleaded guilty on Monday to coercion and enticing at least three minor females to engage in sexual activity by using cellphones and the internet, the news release states.
In June 2018, Gonzalez contacted an underage female teenager who said on a social media application that she was 18 years old but she was 16, according to the release. Gonzalez initiated sexual conversations with her and convinced the teenager to sneak out of a hotel room she was sharing with her father to have sex.
Between 2017 and 2018, Gonzalez had a romantic online relationship with a 13-year-old girl and convinced her to send sexually explicit images. However, the teenager blocked Gonzalez multiple times when he discussed meeting in person, leading a mutual friend to encourage her to talk to him, according to the news release.
Gonzalez met his third victim in 2018 when she was 15 years old. He convinced her to send more than 500 sexually explicit images at his request, according to the news release.
On Jan. 24 2019, law enforcement officials executed a federal search warrant at Gonzalez’s Aberdeen residence and seized several devices including two tablets, three cellphones and a SIM card, the release says.
If the court accepts the plea agreement, Gonzalez would face up to 16 years in federal prison when he is sentenced on Feb. 24.