ST. LOUIS – A man accused of cyberstalking and child pornography crimes in Missouri appeared in federal court Wednesday.

Prosecutors haved charged Gerardo Javier Montes, 31, of Hawaii, with one count of distribution of child pornography, one count of attempted production of child pornography and one count of cyberstalking.

An indictment alleges Montes distributed child pornography online on Dec. 8, 2021. According to court documents, between Dec. 6, 2021 and Jan. 15, 2022, Montes tried to persuade a teenage girl from Missouri to send him nude pictures of herself by threatening to post nude photos of her that he had already obtained. Although the girl refused, Montes reportedly posted the photo he already had.

Attorneys say Montes also targeted a 17-year-old in Oklahoma, a 16-year-old in Texas, a 13-year-old in Hawaii, a 26-year-old in California and other as-yet-unidentified minors.

According to court documents, Montes found some of his targets online, in chat rooms or messaging boards discussing suicide or depression. In some cases, investigators say he also pretended to be a young girl to get other young girls to send him child sex abuse material.

Montes was arrested over the alleged crimes in July. He appeared in federal court in St. Louis on Wednesday, pleading not guilty to all criminal charges.