A Deputy Sheriff in Texas harassed two underage Michigan girls for several years. Now he knows his fate.

According to a press release from the United States Department of Justice, Pasquale T. Salas, 26, was sentenced to 18 years in prison for one count of sexual exploitation of a minor and one count of cyberstalking.

Salas was employed as a Deputy Sheriff at the Matagorda County Sheriff’s Office and used his position to intimidate his victims.

“The defendant was an online predator disguised in a law enforcement uniform,” said United States Attorney Andrew E. Lelling. “He used the internet to gain the trust of vulnerable children and then turned around and exploited their innocence and played on their fears. This sentence is a warning to others, but it is also intended to stop this defendant, for the long term, from further victimizing children. We will always prioritize, and aggressively pursue, cases involving online predators.”

Salas met the first victim through an online video game website in 2014. The victim was only 12 years of age at the time. Salas moved their conversation to other social sites and pressured the girl to send sexually explicit videos of herself.

Then, in 2016, Salas used the same site to exploit a second Massachusetts girl who was also 12. Salas intimidated his victims by sending photos of himself inside a police car and with a gun and told the victims that he had law enforcement friends in Massachusetts.

The case was part of Project Safe Childhood, a nationwide Department of Justice initiative launched in 2006 to protect children from exploitation and abuse.

Honestly, I'm disappointed that within one week this is the second story of abuse by a Sheriff's Deputy in Texas. How many more perps are disguising themselves in our justice system?

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