Franklin County man pleads guilty to child porn charges, faking cancer

Daniel Avetta

ST. LOUIS – A Catawissa, Missouri man appeared in federal court Thursday to plead guilty on child pornography charges and other crimes, US Attorney for the Eastern District of Missouri Jeffrey Jensen said.

The defendant, Daniel Avetta, was indicted in November 2017 on four counts of production of child pornography, six counts of receiving child pornography, and two counts of online enticement of a minor.

The alleged incidents involved different victims between January 1, 2017 and April 3, 2017.

According to our partners at the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, Avetta admitted to posing as an 18-year-old woman online and convincing teen boys to send him photos and videos of their genitals.

He also posed as a cancer patient in need of a caretaker. He convinced one 16-year-old boy to visit him and have sexual contact. Avetta later talked a 15-year-old boy into having sexual contact with him by claiming it was his dying wish to be with another man.

Avetta will be sentenced November 8, 2018. He faces up to 30 years in prison and fines up to $250,000 on each production charge. The receipt charges carry a 20-year maximum sentence each. The online enticement charge warrants a sentence between 10 years and life imprisonment.