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Former Mpls. Charter School Employee Sentenced To 20 Years In Prison For Child Pornography

MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) -- A former Minneapolis charter school employee has been sentenced to 20 years in prison for using social media to sexually exploit teenagers.

On Tuesday, United States Attorney Erica H. MacDonald announced the sentencing of 28-year-old Josiah Raul Mosqueda to 20 years in prison and 10 years of supervised release. Mosqueda pleaded guilty to one count of production of child pornography on Dec. 6, 2019.

Mosqueda was a volunteer and former employee of a Minneapolis charter school and a volunteer at a different Minneapolis middle school. Records show he worked at Hiawatha Academies from the fall of 2017 until June of 2018.

According to the guilty plea and documents filed in court, Mosqueda used social media and electronic communication platforms – specifically Skype, Facebook Messenger, Instagram, Twitter, Kik, WhatsApp, and Snapchat – to communicate with at least ten minor male victims, according to court documents.

Mosqueda repeatedly solicited the victims to send him naked images of themselves, or videos of sexually explicit acts. Mosqueda would suggest in-person sexual encounters and offered other favors in exchange for sexual contact. Mosqueda also engaged the victims in sexually explicit conversations and sent sexually explicit pictures of himself to victims.

In addition to his conduct involving known victims, Mosqueda sought out and curated a collection of additional images and videos containing child pornography on his laptops and cell phone.

"The defendant was a school employee with direct access to students. He presented himself as someone the students could trust and rely on," MacDonald said. "Instead of being that trusted adult, he exploited that trust, groomed young and vulnerable victims, and preyed upon them for his own sexual gratification. I am grateful the court recognized this egregious conduct and sentenced him accordingly."

In Tuesday's ruling, the court described Mosqueda as a serial sexual predator and "a wolf who pretended to be a shepherd in order to gain access to the sheep."

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