California driving instructor charged in child pornography case

A Northern California driving school owner faces federal charges after authorities accused him of soliciting teenage girls, including some of his students, to produce child pornography.

Johnnatan Zelaya Izaguirre, 39, of Redwood City, faces two counts of coercing and enticement of a minor, one count of receiving child pornography and one count of possession of child pornography, according to the US Attorney for the Northern District of California.

Zelaya, who owns and operates a driving school in San Mateo County, used social media to “seduce and coerce” the girls into producing the pornographic material “for his personal use and sale,” prosecutors said Friday.

“The indictment alleges that Zelaya offered to manage the sale of her sexually explicit content to underage victims, offered monetary rewards for selling victims’ content, and bought victims sex toys to use in videos they were encouraged to create.” , prosecutors said.

Zelaya persuaded his victims to create child pornography by falsely claiming to be in law enforcement, prosecutors said. According to court documents, he graduated from a Bay Area police academy — though authorities didn’t say exactly which ones — but he didn’t join any police departments.

Zelaya used social media to target the underage girls, ages 14 to 17, prosecutors said.

Court documents describe how he groomed his victims by complimenting their looks, forming sexualized friendships with them, offering to manage their explicit content posted online, and giving “financial rewards” if they created the content.

“Zelaya allegedly provided a victim with a list of the amounts of money she could make by producing videos, depending on whether the content contained nude or non-nude videos, videos of masturbation, or videos of ‘toy play’ ‘ the prosecutors said. “On one occasion, Zelaya allegedly threatened to distribute explicit content to anyone his victim knew if she stopped creating content for him.”

He was arrested Jan. 4 after communicating with an undercover police officer who he believed was 17, prosecutors said.

The undercover officer had posed as a learner driver, and Zelaya was having “highly sexualized conversations with instructions to masturbate, discussions of future interactions in which he would orally copulate with her and have sexual intercourse,” prosecutors said.

He also asked the undercover officer to conduct a photo shoot with him, prosecutors said. Zelaya’s arrest came during a scheduled meeting with the undercover officer.

Zelaya’s lawyer could not be reached for comment. California driving instructor charged in child pornography case

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