Crime

She sent a teen nude photos and sex messages on Facebook. They sent her to prison

Merice Perez Colon likely won’t have the same Facebook freedom from behind bars she had when she was messaging with a teenage boy.
Merice Perez Colon likely won’t have the same Facebook freedom from behind bars she had when she was messaging with a teenage boy.

The 15-year-old undocumented immigrant boy left an impression on Merice Perez Colon, a 35-year-old youth care worker at a Homestead emergency influx shelter. So much so that Colon kept in contact with him via Facebook messages after he settled in South Carolina.

While many messages defined mundane, Perez Colon also showed herself nude and masturbating. And told him of her a desire to have a picture of the boy’s penis. Or to have the boy return to Miami for sex.

Opening up in such a manner earned the 35-year-old Perez Colon a 10-year federal prison sentence followed by 50 years of supervised release for attempted coercion and enticement of a minor. The sentence was handed down by Judge Kathleen Williams in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Florida.

The October 2016 messages, once discovered by the boy’s relative in South Carolina, cost Perez Colon her job at the Homestead shelter funded by the Office of Refugee Resettlement and a similar one in Cutler Bay.

Before that, however, Perez Colon sent pornographic videos of herself. She also stated in one exchange translated from Spanish for court documents, “I want a video of you masturbating. Since I already sent you several of mine,” a request the boy granted.

He did not, however, comply with her demand, “You have to come to Miami to have sex with me...”

David J. Neal: 305-376-3559, @DavidJNeal

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