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Hudson County Man Admits Getting Kids, Dad To Send Homemade Porn That He Shared On Social

A Union City man admitted getting two underage victims and a pedophile dad in the Dominican Republic to send him homemade child porn that he then shared on social media, federal authorities said.

Ramon Zelaya, 36, of Union City took a deal from the government rather than face the consequences of a trial, pleading guilty before a federal judge in Newark to two counts of sexual exploitation of a child.
Ramon Zelaya, 36, of Union City took a deal from the government rather than face the consequences of a trial, pleading guilty before a federal judge in Newark to two counts of sexual exploitation of a child. Photo Credit: CarolinaJG@https://morguefile.com/p/192494

Posing as a teenage boy, Ramon Zelaya, 36, used an Instagram account to persuade a minor to send him a "revealing" photo, then used that to "entice, threaten, and coerce" the victim into sending him sexually explicit videos and other images, U.S. Attorney Philip R. Sellinger said.

Zelaya also conspired with an unidentified individual in the Dominican Republic on Facebook to sexually abuse that person's child, record it and then send the images to him, Sellinger said.

He also "used another messaging application to engage an additional underage victim in sexually explicit conversations," then got the victim to produce porn videos and photos for him, the U.S. attorney added.

Zelaya shared some of the images on social media, investigators said.

Zelaya has remained in federal custody ever since Homeland Security Investigations agents arrested him in 2019, after which a grand jury in U.S. District Court in Newark indicted him.

He took a deal from the government rather than face the consequences of a trial, pleading guilty via videoconference to two counts of sexual exploitation of a child on Thursday, March 9.

U.S. District Judge Claire C. Cecchi scheduled sentencing for July 20 in Newark.

Sellinger, meanwhile, credited special agents of the Department of Homeland Security's Homeland Security Investigations and Union City police with the investigation leading to the plea, secured by Assistant U.S. Attorneys Jamie H. Solano and Sophie E. Reiter of his Cybercrime Unit in Newark.

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