An arrest
Representation. A person being arrested. paologhedini/Pixabay


  • A Michigan man coerced and induced a 14-year-old girl he met on Snapchat to have sex with him
  • Authorities also found a second minor hiding under the man's bed in a separate incident
  • DNA evidence linked the man to a third incident where he engaged in unlawful sexual acts with another minor

A 21-year-old Michigan man abused and engaged in sexual acts with minors he met online, state prosecutors announced Wednesday.

Judge David M. Lawson sentenced Nikolas Boris Mariani, of Royal Oak, to 11 years in federal prison, the U.S. Attorney's Office for the Eastern District of Michigan said in a statement.

Mariani admitted in the fall of 2020 to coercing and inducing a 14-year-old girl that he met via Snapchat to engage in unlawful sexual activity, according to the statement, which was posted on the website of the Department of Justice.

He also received sexually explicit images from the same minor.

In a separate incident, police found a different 14-year-old runaway hiding nearly naked under Mariani's bed.

The second minor also met Mariani over Snapchat and engaged in sexual acts with him, she alleged.

DNA evidence linked Mariani to a third incident where he picked up another 14-year-old girl from her home in Flint, Michigan, and engaged in sexual acts with her before leaving her in a parking lot in Detroit.

"This offender serially exploited minors that he met online. Our office will work tirelessly to pursue and prosecute individuals who exploit vulnerable children," U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of Michigan Dawn N. Ison said in a statement.

Mariani's case was investigated by the Southeast Michigan Trafficking and Exploitation Crimes Task Force of the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) and the Roseville Police Department.

It was prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Christopher Rawsthorne.

"The FBI is committed to protecting the most vulnerable members of our society – our children – and to bringing predators like Mariani to justice," James A. Tarasca, special agent in charge of the FBI's Detroit field office, said.

Predators have been using Snapchat to sexually abuse and exploit minors, CTV News Barrie reported late last year, citing data from the online reporting site Cybertip.

"The fact that kids are on so many different apps and technology, social media sites, it's really easy to engage with them," Stephen Sauer, a Cybertip analyst at the Canadian Centre for Child Protection, explained.

Snapchat is designed to be a platform "for communicating with your close friends, not strangers," a spokesperson for the company said in an email to CTV News Barrie.

Snapchat app is seen on a smartphone in this illustration