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2 men charged of soliciting children for sex online, sheriff says | #childpredator | #kidsaftey | #childsaftey


The suspects are accused of using social media apps to find underage victims for sex.

UNION COUNTY, N.C. — Two men are accused of trying to solicit children for sex online, Union County deputies say. 

The Union County Sheriff’s Office announced that it arrested Matthew Oakes of Monroe and Nasario Espinoza of Charlotte following separate investigations. Both men were identified as suspects who allegedly solicited underage children for sexual acts on various social media platforms. 

RELATED: Mooresville police make largest child predator bust in department history

Oakes and Espinoza were both charged with felony solicitation of a child by computer to commit an unlawful sex act. Oaks was released on a $25,000 bond. Espinoza was released after posting a $20,000 bond, investigators said. 

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“Once again, the hardworking men and women of this agency have identified and apprehended dangerous men who thought the crimes they committed in the dark would never come to light,” Sheriff Eddie Cathey said in a news release. “The safety of our children is a paramount concern for my office, and we will continue to use technology and teamwork to proactively prevent predators from harming our children.” 

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Detectives say the investigation remains active and more charges may be filed against both men. Anyone with information about their suspect is asked to call the Union County Sheriff’s Office at 704-283-3789 immediately. Witnesses may also call Union County Crime Stoppers at 704-283-5600. 

Note: WCNC instituted a policy in March 2021 regarding the broadcast or posting of mugshots.  

WCNC will only air or post a mugshot if the person has been formally charged with a crime and in a few other cases. The exceptions include: If it appears the person could be a danger to themselves or others or if they are wanted by authorities; to differentiate between people with a common name; if the photos could encourage more victims to come forward. The news-editorial leadership may also decide to use a mugshot based on the severity of the crime(s) committed and/or the level of public interest in the crime and ensuing criminal proceedings.

WCNC Charlotte is showing the mugshot of both suspects in this case because detectives are looking for additional victims.  

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