A resident of the Westside of Los Angeles pleaded guilty Friday to federal criminal charges for using websites and apps such as Snapchat to meet and entice children to engage in sexually explicit conduct via video-chat then take “screen shot” images and videos of them.
Mark David Wallin, 42, of the Del Rey neighborhood of Los Angeles, pleaded guilty to one of production of child pornography and one count of enticement of a minor to engage in criminal sexual activity. Wallin has been in federal custody since his arrest in this case in July 2022.
According to his plea agreement, from 2019 to August 2021, Wallin used the internet to “meet” pre-teen boys and girls – both abroad and in the United States – then develop romantic relationships with them online, with the intent to obtain sexually explicit images and videos from the children. Wallin also persuaded the victims to engage in sexually explicit conduct via video-chat, which allowed him to take “screen shot” images and videos, according to court documents.
After his victims sent him sexually explicit content, Wallin would demand additional sexually explicit images and videos from them.
For example, in February and March of 2020, Wallin enticed a victim, who was approximately 9-10 years old at the time, to engage in sexually explicit conduct to be displayed to him via Snapchat, a multimedia instant messaging application.
Wallin admitted to knowingly causing at least four additional victims – ranging in age from 12 to 16 years old – to create or participate in the creation of multiple files of sexually explicit material featuring themselves.
Wallin further admitted to possessing on a smartphone approximately 200 sexually explicit videos featuring children in August 2021.
United States District Judge Maame Ewusi-Mensah Frimpong scheduled an April 21 sentencing hearing, at which time Wallin will face a mandatory minimum sentence of 15 years in federal prison and a statutory maximum sentence of life imprisonment.
Homeland Security Investigations investigated this matter, with the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department providing assistance.
Assistant United States Attorney Damaris Diaz of the Violent and Organized Crime Section is prosecuting this case.
Submitted by Ciaran McEvoy, USDOJ Public Information Officer