Former deputy pleads guilty to sexual exploiting a young girl

Former deputy pleads guilty to sexual exploiting a young girl

A former Matagorda County deputy has pleaded guilty Thursday, May 14 to sexually exploiting a young girl from Massachusetts.

Pasquale T. Salas, 25, a/k/a Gino, a former deputy sheriff with the Matagorda County Sheriff’s Office, was arrested in Bay City July 31, 2019.

Salas pled guilty via a video conference in federal court in Worcester, Mass. to cyperstalking and sexual exploitation of a minor. Sentencing is scheduled for Sept. 3.

According to Salas’ arrest affidavit, a 17-year-old female met with law enforcement about communications she had with a male going by the name of “Gino.” She informed police that she had first began communicating with “Gino” in 2014. At that time, the minor was 12-year-old and “Gino” told the minor he was 21.

The minor informed police she met “Gino” while playing the Minecraft video game. “Gino” used the Minecraft screen name “itryhardrobot” to initially communicate with the minor through a Minecraft private chat room. The young girl told investigators that her relationship with “Gino” began as a friendship but soon became more serious, with “Gino” telling her that he loved her.

The minor female told investigators that, in or around 2014, “Gino” asked her to send sexually explicit pictures of herself without clothing. “Gino” also asked her to send videos of herself. According to under aged female, she communicated with “Gino” via Minecraft, Snapchat, Skype, phone calls, and text messaging, and she sent hundreds of sexually explicit images and videos of herself to “Gino” via the social media platforms. The minor female told investigators that “Gino” also sent her sexually explicit images of himself while they were communicating on Minecraft.

The female minor advised officers that, since in and around 2016, she had repeatedly tried to end her relationship with “Gino.” However, every time she did, “Gino” would threaten to expose the explicit photos of herself to her friends and her family. The minor said she was unable to have a normal life due to the constant stress of worrying about “Gino” making her photos public. The female minor said that “Gino” called her almost every night and required her to stay on the phone with him for hours at a time in the middle of the night.

The female minor told officers that she could barely function during daylight hours and struggled to maintain a normal teenage life. In or around May, the female minor again tried to end contact with “Gino.” She told “Gino” that her parents knew everything and she could no longer communicate with him. The female minor asked “Gino” to stop contacting her.

In June 2019, the Matagorda County Sheriff’s Office verified that Pasquale Salas was employed as a patrol officer.

Matagorda County Sheriff Frank “Skipper” Osborne held a press conference Aug. 1 and said his department had no idea about these charges against Salas.

“He had been employed with us for three and a half years and been a great deputy, had nothing in his record, no discipline reports, nothing, he was just an outstanding deputy,” said Osborne. “They came in and made the arrest, it was actually the FBI from Boston that has the case on him and they had two or three FBIs from Texas City, who were also involved.

“We cooperated with the FBI in every way possible because we're not going to stand in any way for a deputy that breaks the law. He is no better than anybody else; we're here to enforce law, not to break law,” said Osborne. “As I said, this is a shock to our department and a very bad shock for me because I really thought the world of this boy, he was a young kid, 26 years old and a good deputy. We can kind of control them while they're here, but when they go home and they're off duty, I have really no control over it.”

A former Matagorda County deputy has pleaded guilty Thursday, May 14 to sexually exploiting a young girl from Massachusetts.

Pasquale T. Salas, 25, a/k/a Gino, a former deputy sheriff with the Matagorda County Sheriff’s Office, was arrested in Bay City July 31, 2019.

Salas pled guilty via a video conference in federal court in Worcester, Mass. to cyperstalking and sexual exploitation of a minor. Sentencing is scheduled for Sept. 3.

According to Salas’ arrest affidavit, a 17-year-old female met with law enforcement about communications she had with a male going by the name of “Gino.” She informed police that she had first began communicating with “Gino” in 2014. At that time, the minor was 12-year-old and “Gino” told the minor he was 21.

The minor informed police she met “Gino” while playing the Minecraft video game. “Gino” used the Minecraft screen name “itryhardrobot” to initially communicate with the minor through a Minecraft private chat room. The young girl told investigators that her relationship with “Gino” began as a friendship but soon became more serious, with “Gino” telling her that he loved her.

The minor female told investigators that, in or around 2014, “Gino” asked her to send sexually explicit pictures of herself without clothing. “Gino” also asked her to send videos of herself. According to under aged female, she communicated with “Gino” via Minecraft, Snapchat, Skype, phone calls, and text messaging, and she sent hundreds of sexually explicit images and videos of herself to “Gino” via the social media platforms. The minor female told investigators that “Gino” also sent her sexually explicit images of himself while they were communicating on Minecraft.

The female minor advised officers that, since in and around 2016, she had repeatedly tried to end her relationship with “Gino.” However, every time she did, “Gino” would threaten to expose the explicit photos of herself to her friends and her family. The minor said she was unable to have a normal life due to the constant stress of worrying about “Gino” making her photos public. The female minor said that “Gino” called her almost every night and required her to stay on the phone with him for hours at a time in the middle of the night.

The female minor told officers that she could barely function during daylight hours and struggled to maintain a normal teenage life. In or around May, the female minor again tried to end contact with “Gino.” She told “Gino” that her parents knew everything and she could no longer communicate with him. The female minor asked “Gino” to stop contacting her.

In June 2019, the Matagorda County Sheriff’s Office verified that Pasquale Salas was employed as a patrol officer.

Matagorda County Sheriff Frank “Skipper” Osborne held a press conference Aug. 1 and said his department had no idea about these charges against Salas.

“He had been employed with us for three and a half years and been a great deputy, had nothing in his record, no discipline reports, nothing, he was just an outstanding deputy,” said Osborne. “They came in and made the arrest, it was actually the FBI from Boston that has the case on him and they had two or three FBIs from Texas City, who were also involved.

“We cooperated with the FBI in every way possible because we're not going to stand in any way for a deputy that breaks the law. He is no better than anybody else; we're here to enforce law, not to break law,” said Osborne. “As I said, this is a shock to our department and a very bad shock for me because I really thought the world of this boy, he was a young kid, 26 years old and a good deputy. We can kind of control them while they're here, but when they go home and they're off duty, I have really no control over it.”

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