A 29-year-old Kauai man has been sentenced to 10 years in prison for sexually assaulting and extorting two young
women – one of them a minor – after first “cyberstalking” them on Facebook and other internet sites.
Leonard Alpeche Jr. was sentenced yesterday to consecutive five-year terms by Circuit Judge Kathleen Watanabe.
He pleaded guilty May 23.
“To make initial contact with his victims, Alpeche used the identity of an actual 15-year-old local girl under a Facebook account that he created,” Prosecuting Attorney Shaylene Iseri-Cravalho said in a news release.
“He then sent messages to the girls he targeted, as if it was coming from the 15-year-old girl whose identity he hijacked, claiming to be a model for a fictitious modeling company on Kauai that catered to residents of the North Shore,” the prosecutor said.
Once a victim initially responded to Alpeche, he used “a series of email addresses, phone numbers, and internet messaging services to masquerade” as model agency employees and photographers, asking the victims to send him bikini, semi-nude and nude photographs of themselves, said Ieri-Carvalho.
Then he threatened to make the photos public if the victims did not meet his demands.
One 21-year-old victim was sexually assaulted by Alpeche at a public park.
The woman told Kauai police, who began a three-month investigation and Alpeche was arrested in January 2011.
FBI agents then notified Kauai authorities they were investigating a similar case involving a minor victim.
“Using the same phony modeling agency scheme, (Alpeche) extorted over $7500 from the victim, and threatened to release the revealing “audition” photos of the minor if she did not provide money and sex during a total of 5 separate encounters,” said Iseri-Cravalho.
A relative of the second victim learned what was happening and copied serial numbers of currency before it was paid to Alpeche, then gave the information to the FBI.
Kauai police were able to match those numbers to money recovered from Alpeche while they were investigating the first case, the prosecutor said.
““Solving, charging, and convicting Alpeche is an example of law enforcement collaboration at its best,” said Iseri-Cravalho.