LAFAYETTE, La. (KPEL) -- A former youth minister was sentenced Friday in a federal court to 27 years for enticing minors to engage in sexual conduct with him.

According to U.S. Attorney Stephanie Finley, 23-year-old Eric Manuel of Lafayette admitted he would "text underage boys to convince them to engage in sexual acts."

He paid at least two boys to let him perform oral sex on them, and he tried to entice a third boy to do the same thing.

Manuel also admitted to creating a Facebook page on which he would pretend to be a young girl. He convinced at least 18 boys between the ages of 13 and 17 to send him "sexually explicit images and videos of themselves," Finley said.

At least one boy refused to send such images to Manuel, and according to Finley, he threatened him.

Manuel was indicted by a federal grand jury back in January 2012 on 18 counts of producing child pornography, and two counts of "using a facility of interstate commerce to persuade a minor to engage in criminal sexual acts," Finley said.

Manuel will be required to complete 15 years of supervised release, Finley said.