A New York man confessed Monday to posing as his daughter’s boyfriend in order to trick her into sending him naked photos, the Syracuse Post-Standard reported.
According to federal court records, the man falsely claimed at one point that the fake boyfriend had committed suicide and then used the photos to blackmail his 14-year-old daughter.
The father, 41, pleaded guilty to 12 counts of enticing a child to produce child pornography and receiving and sending child porn. He now faces sexual abuse charges in Herkimer County Court.
The man, whose name the Post-Standard opted not to publish in order to protect the young victim, reportedly set up accounts on Instagram, AOL and a texting service in September 2013 under an alias. He then reached out to his daughter online, pretending to be a 16-year-old boy from Watertown, New York, court papers said.
The two gradually developed a relationship and even started calling each other boyfriend and girlfriend, even though they’d never met in person or spoken to one another. The teenage girl initially resisted his requests to send him sexually explicit photos, but eventually, she gave in. In November, around two months after the correspondence began, the girl told him she wanted to break up.
“I tell u what u want to be gone then send me nudes and close ups and I will let u go,” the girl’s father texted her, posing as the teenage boy.
“No,” she responded. “I’m not going to do that. That’s another reason I’m leaving. All you talk about is sex sex and more sex. Honestly that is not what a relationship is about.”
“Then I will send these to your dad and then I won’t have to worry about anyone else having u,” the man wrote, referring to the sexually explicit pictures she’d sent him.
While posing as the boyfriend, the man repeatedly threatened that he would send the photos to her father, court papers said.
“I told you that a bunch of times when we were dating that I don’t like those pics and now you are threatening me that if I don’t send you those then you’ll send my dad the ones I sent you before?” she texted. “My life is ruined.”
In a later texting conversation, the father promised the girl that if she took more photos, he wouldn’t show them to anyone else.
“You said that about the other one and now you’re threatening to send it to my father, who by the way will kill me,” she messaged back.
At a detention hearing in December, a federal prosecutor requested that the judge focus on the fact that the case involves a father tricking his own daughter.
“Keep in mind the relationship between the defendant and the victim in this case, which makes this all that much more egregious,” Assistant U.S. Attorney Lisa Fletcher told U.S. District Judge Brenda Sannes.
Fletcher stressed that the father extorted the photos from his own daughter.
After the girl broke up with her fake boyfriend, the teen received a text from the same account from someone claiming to be his mother, according to court papers. The message said that the boy had committed suicide.
Soon after that, the father told his daughter that her dead boyfriend had sent him the photos, court papers said. The father often referred to the photos and how much he liked them while he sexually abused his daughter, Fletcher wrote in court papers.
The elaborate effort to manipulate his daughter began to crumble about a year after the fake suicide, when the girl reported the sexual abuse to her school nurse, court papers said.
“Only after that did his torture of her subside,” Fletcher said at the December hearing.
When police questioned her, the teen told them that she’d been in an online romantic relationship with the 16-year-old boy from Watertown, court papers said.
Police were able to trace the texting account that the teenage boy was supposedly using and discovered that the texts had been sent from someone in the girl’s own home, court papers said.
The father will now face up to 250 years in prison when Judge Sannes sentences him in July.
(H/T: Syracuse Post-Standard)
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