Washington, DC - A Virginia man was sentenced Friday to 31 years in prison for a years-long sextortion scheme in which he coerced numerous preteen and teenage victims to create and send him images of themselves engaged in sexually explicit conduct. The defendant was further sentenced to a lifetime of supervised release and ordered to pay restitution to the victims.
Filippo Parlagreco, 36, of Warrenton, pleaded guilty to production, distribution, and possession of child pornography on Nov. 5, 2020. According to court documents, the defendant — posing as a teenage girl on social media — began communicating with a 14-year-old girl and persuaded her to send him sexually explicit photographs of herself. After she did so, he posted the explicit photographs to another social media application and demanded that she produce and send him additional explicit images if she wanted them removed. Despite the victim blocking him on social media and reporting the crimes to law enforcement, the defendant continued to contact her with demands for sexually explicit images over the course of three years. Once law enforcement was able to identify the defendant, further investigation revealed that the defendant sexually exploited at least 13 other minor victims nationwide in a similar manner, including some as young as 11 years old; that he traded child sexual abuse material with other offenders online; and that he possessed hundreds of images and videos of child sexual abuse material in an encrypted portion of his phone.
“This case demonstrates the grave dangers that children face online, where predators can pretend to be anyone and use sophisticated tactics to exploit the most vulnerable among us,” said Acting Assistant Attorney General Nicholas L. McQuaid of the Justice Department’s Criminal Division. “The defendant used an array of technology to target and manipulate children for his own perverse pleasure. As this prosecution shows, the Department will continue to marshal its resources to pursue child predators and hold them accountable for victimizing children.”
“The defendant manipulated, coerced, and tormented children across the country by using an arsenal of repulsive tactics, which subjected these vulnerable minors to trauma that will painfully stay with them and their families forever,” said Raj Parekh, Acting U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of Virginia. “While no amount of jail time can ever undo the devastating physical and emotional damage the defendant has caused, we hope that today’s sentence will provide some measure of justice for the victims.”
“The FBI and its local, state, and federal partners work tirelessly on a daily basis to investigate and bring to justice individuals engaged in the exploitation and sexual abuse of children,” said Assistant Director in Charge Steven M. D’Antuono of the FBI’s Washington Field Office. “With this sentencing, we have removed a dangerous child predator from the community and sent a clear message that acts of sextortion against minors over the internet are taken seriously and will be investigated and brought to justice.”
This case was investigated by the FBI Washington Field Office’s Child Exploitation and Human Trafficking Task Force, which is composed of FBI Agents, along with task force officers from federal, state, and local law enforcement agencies in Northern Virginia and the District of Columbia. Significant assistance was provided from local law enforcement throughout the country.
Trial Attorneys Jessica Urban and Gwendelynn Bills of the Criminal Division’s Child Exploitation and Obscenity Section (CEOS) and Assistant U.S. Attorney Jonathan Keim of the Eastern District of Virginia prosecuted the case.