Ontario man guilty of coercing girls into sex online

Jennifer Chambers
The Detroit News

An Ontario man pleaded guilty Tuesday to multiple counts related to the sexual exploitation of two girls in Metro Detroit.

U.S. Attorney Barbara L. McQuade said Antonio P. Fontana, 58, of Pickering, Ontario, entered the plea before U.S. District Judge David M. Lawson.

As part of the plea, Fontana admitted that in October 2013, he began coercing and enticing a 15-year-old girl into performing various sexual acts for him in front of an Internet webcam.

Fontana began communicating with the victim on the website Omegle.com, where he was posing as a 16-year-old boy.

Fontana recorded many of the sexual acts that he forced the girl to perform on an almost daily basis, prosecutors said. Fontana threatened to post the recordings on the Internet and to send them to her friends and family if she did not continue to perform sexual acts for him.

When the girl attempted to stop speaking to Fontana in December 2013, Fontana continued to communicate with her and her mother in an attempt to coerce the girl into maintaining contact.

In January and February, 2014, Fontana sent sexually explicit images of the girl to her mother, her school and her church, including her friends, peers and church administrators.

Fontana also engaged in a similar course of conduct, beginning in November 2013, with a second victim, a 14-year-old girl.

As part of the plea, Fontana admitted that, in total, he victimized more than five girls.

“The phenomenon of ‘sextortion,’ where child predators use the Internet to extort children to pose for pictures and engage in sex acts online, is a growing problem,” McQuade said.

“Predators entice young people to pose for compromising pictures, and then use shame to silence the victims from seeking help. Parents should warn their children that you never know who is on the other end of an Internet conversation, and to never let shame prevent them from seeking help when they are in trouble.”

Fontana has been detained since his arrest, and arrived in the United States following extradition from Canada. He faces a prison sentence of at least 15 years and up to life in prison.

jchambers@detroitnews.com