Valley man indicted for trying to coerce minor over Roblox

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A Rio Grande Valley man was indicted for attempting to coerce a minor girl to send him masturbation images to him after befriending her over the gaming platform Roblox.

Brandon Roy Alvarez, who was born in 2005, was charged with knowingly persuading or coercing an individual under 18 years to engage in prostitution or any sexual activity, according to a criminal complaint.

On Nov. 14, 2023, the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Texas received an investigative lead from the FBI Child Exploitation Operational Unit, which stated that on Oct. 6 that same year, the unit received information from the Finland Liaison Bureau and Helsinki Police Department regarding the parents of a 10-year-old girl.

The parents filed a criminal report with Helsinki police stating that the minor received sexually explicit messages and child sexual abuse material, or CSAM videos from a person using Roblox and WhatsApp, a messaging application.

The report also stated that the suspect, Alvarez, initiated the friendship online through Roblox. The conversion between the minor and the suspect eventually moved to WhatsApp.

Law enforcement determined that Alvarez’s number was from the Valley.

Alvarez and the minor conversed through WhatsApp from Sept. 17-20, 2023, the complaint stated. That conversation was downloaded and included in the police report.

A review of that conversation showed that Alvarez sent semi-nude photos of a young Asian female in underwear and told the minor the photos were of himself, according to the complaint.

“The suspect also hinted multiple times that the suspect could send nude material of themselves to (the minor),” the complaint said.

Alvarez is additionally accused of asking about the minor’s masturbation habits.

Authorities say he told the minor that a friend sent a video of herself naked and wanted to show the minor, and that Alvarez sent her several videos which depicted inappropriate images of prepubescent girls and “the lewd lascivious exhibition of their genitals.

On Jan. 22, law enforcement spoke with Alvarez who admitted to befriending the minor over Roblox and moved the conversation over to WhatsApp while pretending to be a female minor.

Alvarez also admitted to attempting to coerce the minor to send him nude photos or a video of her masturbating.

He is scheduled to appear before U.S. Magistrate Judge Juan F. Alanis for his arraignment on March 1.