A 33-year-old Chicago man has been charged with enticement and coercion after blackmailing a Massachusetts teen into sending him pornographic images of herself. By the time he was caught, the man had collected hundreds of images of the teen under the threat of exposing her videos to the public. However, it was the teen who reported the conduct to law enforcement, thus resulting in the perpetrator’s arrest.
The perpetrator has since pleaded guilty to the crime and faces a mandatory minimum of 10 years in federal prison.
Understanding the Allegations
In this case, the perpetrator sought the victim out online and threatened to release images or videos of her that he had found on the internet. In some cases, individuals can do reverse image lookups to find women pictured in photos. It appears as though the perpetrator contacted the victim and threatened to expose her if she did not provide him with more images. This relationship continued until the victim reported the conduct to authorities. The perpetrator also had access to the victim’s Snapchat account and, in that period, collected over 1,000 images and videos of the victim. According to law enforcement, several of these images and videos were pornographic in nature.
At this point, the defendant admitted to contacting the victim and blackmailing her into sending him more pornographic images. It appears that other men or students were also blackmailing her at the time, and he simply jumped on the train. The defendant admitted to receiving images of the minor engaged in sexual intercourse.
Major Uptick in Sextortion Cases
The FBI has reported that there is a major surge in sextortion cases, particularly involving teen boys. While teen boys have often been the perpetrators of sextortion, they can also often be the victims. Teen boys are not particularly smart, especially when it comes to teen girls, and so perpetrators pose as teen girls in order to entice the boys into sending explicit photos of themselves. After the photos are sent, the adult on the other side springs the trap and attempts to leverage the boy into paying to keep the photos private.
Online safety for parents
Sexual predators get off on the trickery and coercion involved in the power dynamic between perpetrators and victims. It has always been like this, even before we had social media. Adults would leverage children by telling them they would get into trouble and then promising to keep the matter a secret if they went along with their little game. The concept of corrective rape, though much rarer, has not been completely eradicated from our culture.
Parents must tell their teenagers never to interact with those they do not know online and certainly not to send them personal information or compromising photos because it can be used against them by bad actors.
Talk to a Chicago Criminal Defense Attorney Today
David Freiberg represents the interests of those charged with serious crimes in Chicago. Call today at (312) 560-7100, and we can begin preparing your defense immediately.