A 29-year-old Kauai man accused of using Facebook and other social networking websites to stalk, extort and sexually assault young female victims received consecutive five-year sentences Wednesday in two separate cases, according to the Kauai County Department of the Prosecuting Attorney.
The charges against Leonard Alpeche Jr. arose from incidents in 2010. He was charged with multiple counts of felony sexual assault and extortion.
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. 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 message would encourage the girls to contact an email address or phone number to sign up for lucrative modeling contracts. Once a girl responded, Alpeche would then use a series of email addresses, phone numbers, and Internet messaging services to masquerade as a number of different people including a secretary for the modeling company, a modeling company agent, and ultimately, a photographer.
In order to "audition" the victims for the bogus contracts, he requested bikini, semi-nude, and nude photos. After receiving the revealing photos, Alpeche then demanded in-person meetings with the girls, and threatened to release the photos if the girls did not comply.
In the first charged case, Alpeche, posing as the modeling company agent, coerced the victim, 21, to meet him at the Lihue Ballpark. If the victim did not comply, he stated that the audition pictures the victim previously sent would be sent to her friends, family, and coworkers, whom he named specifically.
When the victim arrived at the park, Alpeche concealed his identity with a mask and a hood, and claimed to be an unwilling victim himself. He stated that the modeling agency had been contacted by was part of an organized crime syndicate, and that the mobsters involved would harm both him and his young son if he did not provide them with pictures of himself and the victim engaging in sex acts.
After the assault, the victim reported the incident to the Kauai Police Department, which began the three-month investigation.
Police was able to identify and capture Alpeche, who had gone to extraordinary lengths to conceal his identity.
In January 2011, Alpeche was arrested and charged with multiple counts of sexual assault and extortion arising out of the ballpark incident.