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16 felony charges filed in Utah sextortion investigation

A transgender woman, who police say posed as a girl on social media, is facing 16 felony crimes as part of a sextortion investigation involving a teenage victim.

A transgender woman, who police say posed as a girl on social media, is facing 16 felony crimes as part of a sextortion investigation involving a teenage victim. (Zolnierek, Shutterstock)


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SALT LAKE CITY — A transgender woman, who police say posed as a girl on social media, is facing 16 felony crimes as part of a sextortion investigation involving a teenage victim.

Carlos Arturo Aparicio Hernandez, 36, of Taylorsville, who identifies as a woman, according to charging documents, was charged Thursday in 3rd District Court with aggravated sexual extortion and six counts of forcible sodomy, both first-degree felonies; three counts of forcible sexual abuse, enticing a minor, and five counts of sexual exploitation of a minor, all second-degree felonies.

In January of 2021, a 15-year-old boy accepted a friend request on Facebook from someone he thought was a teenage girl, according to charging documents. After several months of communicating, Hernandez requested nude pictures from the boy, and after that, requested to meet the boy, the charges state.

The boy invited Hernandez to his home.

"It was only when Aparicio Hernandez arrived that (the boy) learned her identity," according to the charges.

At that point, Hernandez "forced him to do sexual acts" and threatened to release the photos of the boy if he didn't, the charges state. She recorded the sex acts on a phone and saved the videos, according to the charges.

From that point, Hernandez "continued to threaten" the boy if he did not comply with demands for additional sexual encounters. The two met up on three occasions, according to the charges.

Once West Valley police became involved, detectives served a search warrant on the boy and Hernandez's social media accounts. Police then used the boy's Facebook account to arrange another meeting with Hernandez. When she showed up to the meeting location, she was arrested.

Prosecutors have requested that Hernandez be held in the Salt Lake County Jail, pending trial, noting that she "took advantage of the victim and extorted the victim for her own sexual gain," the charges state.

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Pat Reavy is a longtime police and courts reporter. He joined the KSL.com team in 2021, after many years of reporting at the Deseret News and KSL NewsRadio before that.

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