A fake modeling agent is accused of extorting women for sex acts and money in exchange for agreeing not to post their nude photos online, prosecutors said Friday.
Maverick “Michael” Mendez Rosales, 24, pleaded not guilty in San Diego Superior Court on Friday afternoon to multiple crimes, including rape, coerced sex acts and extortion, as well as sex offenses.
Prosecutors said he lured at least two women by offering to take their photos for his fictitious modeling agency, then threatened to release the photos to the internet or to their families.
Assistant District Attorney Martin Doyle said outside the courtroom the charges relate to two victims, although authorities believe there may be more. The two women were extorted for sex and one of them also paid Rosales money, the prosecutor said.
The plan lasted two years with one of the women, he said. Rosales is accused of soliciting the women via Facebook and Craigslist.
He was arrested Wednesday by San Diego police in Mission Valley. He lives in the Point Loma area and listed his occupation as a waiter, according to his booking record.
Rosales bowed her head during the short arraignment hearing. The prosecutor and public defender discussed the case and argued about his bail with the judge in a low voice, without putting any details on the public record.
Judge David Szumowski set bail at $300,000 and ordered Rosales to stay away from two women.
Rosales’ father, who appeared in court on Friday, said his son was “a good boy”. He declined to provide his name or any other information, saying he was shocked by the accusations and did not know any details.
Rosales faces up to 13 years in prison if convicted on all counts.
Authorities are asking any additional victims to come forward by calling Nancy Dodd, a district attorney’s supervising investigator, at (619) 615-6864.