A 21-year-old from Royal Oak, Michigan will spend more than a decade in prison for preying on teen girls on Snapchat in order to coerce and entice the minors into engaging in illegal sexual activity, according to the U.S. Department of Justice.

Nikolas Boris Mariani, who went by his middle name on Snapchat, pleaded guilty to committing two federal crimes, including for receiving child pornography he solicited from the victims, federal prosecutors said.

DOJ described the defendant as a “serial abuser of underage girls,” who pretended to be younger than he was and used the “internet and manipulation” to sexually abuse minors “who are legally unable to consent.” That, the DOJ said, makes Mariani “no less dangerous than the rapist who hides in a dark alley assaulting strangers.”

According the government’s sentencing memorandum in the case, Mariani “relentlessly pursued underage girls on Snapchat, meeting
at least three 14-year-olds to engage in illegal sex acts with them.”

One of those victims, prosecutors said, was a “runaway” found under Mariani’s bed wearing nothing but a sweatshirt:

On December 31, 2020, Roseville Police Officers went to Mariani’s residence to find a 14-year-old runaway. (R.1, Pg.ID 8). Mariani answered the door wearing nothing but a towel. Id. While searching the residence, police officers found another 14-year-old runaway hiding under Mariani’s bed, MV-3. MV-3 was wearing a sweatshirt and nothing else. Id. In an interview with police, MV-3 told the officers that she had met Mariani over Snapchat, that Mariani knew that she was 14 years old, and that Mariani had sex with her.

His sexual abuse of another victim “came to light after MV-1’s mother found various disturbing messages on MV-1’s cellular phone,” the memo said.

“On December 8, 2020, MV-1 confirmed in a forensic interview that Mariani knew that she was 14 years old and that Mariani had sex with her,” court documents said, noting that Mariani even tried to get the victim to “disarm her alarm to come to his house.”

“Later he encouraged her to run away after she got on birth control, asking her to spend a Covid lockdown that he believed was imminent,” the feds said. “Mariani also received images the day before of her genitals and of her masturbating, images that constitute child pornography and represent Count 2 of this offense.”

U.S. District Judge David M. Lawson sentenced Mariani on Tuesday to 11 years in prison.

Original Article