YMCA counselor accused of forcing teenage boy to send him nude photos

Joseph Anthony Garcia tried to meet up with victim for sex, police say

By Amanda Batchelor - Senior Digital Editor

MIAMI-DADE COUNTY, Fla. - A YMCA counselor was arrested Monday on accusations that he forced a teenage boy to send him nude photographs, authorities said.

According to an arrest report, Joseph Anthony Garcia, 18, of Miami, posed as a 16-year-old girl named Kathy, aka Kiki, and began conversing with the victim.

Police said the victim and Garcia exchanged messages about sexual acts they would like to perform on each other.

But police said the victim became frightened after Garcia began threatening him to continue sending him nude photos or he would forward the photos he already had of the victim to the victim's mother and sister-in-law.

According to the arrest report, the victim asked Garcia not to do anything to harm him and Garcia responded, "I won't harm you unless you give me a reason."

Police said the victim told Garcia to leave him alone and Garcia wrote back, "I won't, especially since I still have your mom's phone number, and you wouldn't want mommy to know, right? So you will listen to me."

Police said Garcia eventually told the victim he would leave him alone and delete all the nude photos if he agreed to have a threesome with him. 

Police said they were then contacted and an undercover detective posing as the victim arranged to meet up with Garcia at a McDonald's at 15295 SW 104th St. and then go back to Garcia's home.

Police said Garcia was arrested after arriving at the McDonald's Monday.

He faces charges of traveling to meet a minor for sex, threats of extortion, promoting the sexual performance of a child, possession of obscene material depicting a minor, possession of an image or video showing the sexual performance of a child and using a computer to misrepresent his age. 

It's unclear which YMCA location Garcia worked at, however a YMCA spokeswoman said he has been suspended pending the investigation.

"The safety and well-being of all kids in our programs is our first priority," the spokeswoman said in a statement Tuesday. "To ensure the safety of our students, the YMCA adheres to all background screening requirements by the Department of Children and Families and the School Board of Miami-Dade County. Upon arrest, the staff person was immediately suspended, pending further investigation. We are cooperating fully with Miami-Dade police as they continue to investigate the situation."

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