The San Diego Union-Tribune
SAN DIEGO — A Camp Pendleton-based Marine has been charged with cyberstalking several young women, accused of demanding sexually explicit photos and videos online and then repeatedly harassing and threatening them when they refused to comply, according to a complaint filed in Los Angeles federal court Wednesday.
Johao Miguel Chavarri, 25, is accused of targeting at least 11 women who currently or previously lived in his hometown of Torrance. Investigators believe he met many of them — or their friends, family members or boyfriends — while he attended various high schools and El Camino College there.
Chavarri used the alias “Michael Frito” in his alleged interactions with the women, posing as a married welder from New York from 2019 to 2021, according to the complaint.
The interactions usually began with Chavarri messaging a woman through Instagram and complimenting her appearance, the complaint states. That would be followed up with a request for the woman to send him photos of her feet, and later nudes, according to investigators.
Chavarri offered to pay for the photos and asked that they be sent through Snapchat, where the women believed the photos could not be saved, the complaint says.
Many women sent photos at first but refused repeated requests to send more. That’s when Chavarri grew aggressive, threatening to post the nude images online or send them to the victims’ family, coworkers and friends, according to the complaint. In several cases, Chavarri said that the only way to make him stop was for the women to send more, investigators said.
“I will post every nude and continue to do so until you take your money,” Chavarri allegedly wrote one 25-year-old victim on Instagram. “This can all go away. You don’t want anyone seeing these.”
He allegedly messaged another victim: “I have found your family on Facebook and I have a picture of all your followers. I even found your ex boyfriend. Please don’t test me. I will send everything.”
In some instances, Chavarri allegedly contacted family or friends of the victims threatening to put the victims’ photos on Pornhub. He also bragged about being untraceable, including using burner phones, and said he’d talked to a lawyer and wasn’t concerned about consequences, according to some of the messages.
The complaint does not say if any of the images were posted online or sent out. Still, the victims reported being devastated by the harassment, including experiencing panic attacks, shutting down social media accounts and being fearful of leaving the house, the complaint states.
Chavarri was arrested Tuesday. He enlisted in the Marines in 2018 and works in motor transport and repair services on Camp Pendleton, according to information the FBI learned from the Marine Corps. He lives on base and is married, officials said.
The investigation, conducted by the FBI and Naval Criminal Investigative Service, connected several of the Michael Frito social media accounts, payment app and other service providers to Chavarri, according to the complaint.
Last week, another San Diego-based military member, Navy Seaman Sergio Reinaldo Williams, pleaded guilty to cyberstalking in a similar case. Williams admitted to posting videos of a woman on Pornhub without her knowledge or consent, sending screenshots of the material to one of her family members and harassing her online.