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Minnesota U.S. attorney charges ex-school employee with child exploitation, pornography

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Federal prosecutors say that between 2017 and 2018, a 27-year-old Minneapolis man sent sexually explicit messages and images to several minors via Facebook Messenger.
Jenny Kane | AP Photo file

The U.S. Attorney's office for the District of Minnesota Wednesday charged a Minneapolis man with eight counts involving child exploitation and producing, receiving and distributing child pornography.

Federal prosecutors say between 2017 and 2018, Josiah Mosqueda, 27, sent sexually explicit messages and images to several minors via Facebook Messenger. Mosqueda has worked both as an employee and a volunteer at a Minneapolis charter school. He also volunteered at a middle school in the city. The indictment doesn't name the schools.

The charges include an excerpt from an alleged exchange between Mosqueda and a victim, which prosecutors say shows Mosqueda knew he was acting illegally. It reads, "I mean if I show you literally can't show anyone. I would go to jail and never be able to teach or work in a school lol."

According to the charges, Mosqueda's victims were between the ages of 13 and 17.

Minnesota U.S. Attorney Erica MacDonald said investigators want parents to know there could be more victims.

"If they believe that they have a child that has been targeted either by this scheme or a similar scheme, to please contact law enforcement and specifically the [Bureau of Criminal Apprehension] tip line," said MacDonald. The number is 877-996-6222. MacDonald said callers may remain anonymous.

MacDonald also urged parents to pay close attention to whom their children communicate with online.  She said her office has seen an increase in exploitation cases which often involve adults posing as children in order to entice other children to send them explicit material.

"Cases we are seeing at a remarkable rate of increase are cases involving sex-tortion," said MacDonald. "In other words, cases that involve the exploitation of a youth and using images or conduct to extort further images or other things from the child."

Mosqueda did not hide his identity in his alleged efforts to exploit his victims, said MacDonald.

BCA officials say Mosqueda was taken into custody Wednesday and awaits a hearing set for next week.