A California man was sentenced to life in prison Thursday for sexually assaulting a 16-year-old and filming the act several times.
According to court documents, Deepak Deshpande, 41, posed as a modeling agent and contacted the girl, from Florida, through an online chat application in July 2017. He then persuaded the girl, whose identity was not revealed, to send him nude photos of her. In the following two months, Deshpande asked her to produce explicit videos for him including child pornography and "threatened to disseminate her nude images if she did not continue producing additional child pornography for him."
In September that year, he traveled to Florida to meet the girl. He brought her to a hotel where he sexually assaulted her several times and filmed the act. He visited the teen four times over the following eight months and "repeated this same conduct."
The FBI began investigating Deshpande after receiving an anonymous tip in May 2018. An undercover agent posed as the teen and continued messaging the accused. Deshpande returned to Florida a few days later to meet the teen and was taken into custody at the Orlando International Airport.
A few days before his trial, Deshpande plotted to kidnap and kill the girl and asked a fellow inmate, who was set to be released soon, to "serve as a middleman." He gave the inmate the girl's details, including her contact details and home address. The FBI, however, learnt about the plot and his "efforts were ultimately unsuccessful."
"Those who work the FBI's Violent Crimes Against Children program bring compassion, commitment, and steadfast determination to their investigations to ensure predators like this are brought to justice. This case is particularly noteworthy in the level of planning conducted and depravity displayed by the perpetrator. I would like to recognize the courage of the victim who helped make sure this predator cannot hurt others and also encourage our community to remain vigilant online and report any suspicious activity to law enforcement," said Eric Sporre, Special Agent in Charge of the FBI Tampa Division.
Deshpande pleaded guilty to "enticing a minor to engage in sexual conduct" and "production of child pornography" in October 2018.
This article originally appeared in IBTimes US.