Winona man’s ‘sextortion’ scheme targeted more than 60 young girls

A Winona man has pleaded guilty to an online "sextortion" scheme that targeted more than 60 minor girls, mostly between the ages of 9 and 12 years old.

According to court documents, between April 2022 and June 2023, Valentin Silva Quintana, 30, used Snapchat and Instagram to "threaten, sexually manipulate, and exploit" victims that were from Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, Texas, New Zealand, and elsewhere. Quintana would instruct the victims to record themselves, which he then used for his "own gratification."

Quintana used fake identities and lied about his age to pose as a minor, using pictures and videos of "youthful appearing girls" to make his communications with other victims more believable.

According to court documents, Quintana would lure his victims by convincing them he was their friend or romantic partner, or offering them payments.

He would also threaten to send the first image or video to friends and family unless the girls produced more for him. He continued this sextortion, "even as his victims wept and begged him to stop," charges state.

Quintana ultimately pleaded guilty to one count of production of child pornography, one count of distribution of child pornography, and one count of possession of child pornography.

The case is the result of an investigation conducted by the Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension (BCA), Homeland Security, and the Winona County Sheriff’s Office.