L.A. man posed as teen, told girls he loved them in hopes of obtaining nude photos: DOJ

A man from the Los Angeles South Bay has been sentenced to 30 years in federal prison for attempting to get underage girls to send him nude images.

Anthony Frank Scovotto, 58, of San Pedro, received his sentence on Monday after pleading guilty last May to one count of attempted production of child pornography.

In 2017, Scovotto began contacting the underage victim, whom he believed was only 12 at the time, through audio calls and text messages, according to the United States Department of Justice.

Posing as an 18-year-old boy, Scovotto repeatedly told the victim that he loved her and believed they were “meant for each other,” the DOJ said.

Investigators say he instructed the victim to contact him in an online chatroom where he asked her to take off her clothes. Afterward, he asked the girl to send him nude photos of herself.

According to court documents, this wasn’t the first time Scovotto had used these tactics to get underage girls to send him explicit images. As part of his plea agreement, he admitted to doing the same thing that same year with two separate underage girls whom he contacted online.

“He asked both victims to send him sexually explicit photographs of themselves, which they did,” the DOJ said.

Prosecutors argued that Scovotto be sentenced to 30 years in prison based on a pattern of similar crimes. In 2001, he was convicted in Orange County of attempted sexual abuse of a child under the age of 14, they said.

“[Scovotto] preyed upon vulnerable pre-teen and adolescent girls by posing as a teenager or young man and pretending to love and care for them,” prosecutors wrote in their sentencing memorandum. “He betrayed their trust and manipulated them for his sexual pleasure.”

Scovotto will be 88 years old upon his release from prison if he serves his entire sentence.

The case was investigated by the FBI and prosecuted by the United States Attorney’s Office.

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