DEL REY—On Friday, January 6, a resident of the Del Rey neighborhood of Los Angeles, Mark David Wallin, 42, pleaded guilty to the federal criminal charges of one count of production of child pornography and one count of enticement of a minor to engage in criminal sexual activity, the U.S. Department of Justice released in a statement. Wallin has been in custody since his arrest in July 2022. 

According to the U.S. Department of Justice, from 2019 to August 2021, Wallin used the internet, specifically the multimedia instant messaging app Snapchat, to meet preteen boys and girls, both abroad and in the U.S., in order to develop virtual romantic relationships. Wallin did this with the intent to collect sexually explicit images and videos of them; he also persuaded his victims to engage in sexually explicit conduct via video-chat, so that he could take screen shot images and videos of them, according to court documents. After his victims sent the sexually explicit content, Wallin would demand more sexual images and videos from them. 

In February and March 2020, he lured a victim, approximately 9 or 10 years old at the time, into engaging in sexually explicit conduct using Snapchat. Wallin admitted to knowingly persuading at least four additional victims – ages ranging from 12 to 16 years old – to create and participate in the production of multiple files of sexually explicit material featuring themselves. He also admitted to possessing a smartphone with over 200 pornographic videos featuring children in August 2021. 

Wallin’s sentencing hearing is scheduled for April 21, 2023 by United States District Judge Maame Ewusi-Mensah Frimpoong. He will be facing a mandatory minimum sentence of 15 years in federal prison and a statutory maximum sentence of life imprisonment.