• Man pleads guilty to extorting sex from a Brownsburg teen

    September 15, 2011 No comments

    A Maryland man charged with extorting a Brownsburg teen into sexual favors victimized other teens after he was released on bond, according to court documents filed yesterday.

    Court documents in U.S. District Court in Indianapolis said 20-year-old Trevor Shea has agreed to plead guilty to charges of sexual exploitation of children stemming from both cases.

    The documents say Shea coerced girls in Florida, Kansas and Maryland into various acts after his release on bond following his initial indictment in June 2010. Shea had agreed not to use a computer as a term of release.

    Shea could face 15 to 30 years in prison on each of the seven counts against him under terms of a proposed plea agreement, and up to 30 years more for violating the terms of his pre-trial release.

    The 10 victims ranged in age from 13 to 16, according to the documents, which describe the videos and photos as child pornography.

    The case is an example of a growing crime that federal prosecutors have nicknamed “sextortion,” in which Internet predators catch victims in embarrassing situations online and threaten to expose them unless they create sexually explicit photos or videos for them.

    Shea’s case began in September 2009, when police received a report that a 16-year-old girl from Brownsburg was being stalked over the Internet. The girl and two of her friends had visited a chatroom and flashed their breasts over a webcam. A week later, a stranger contacted the girl and said he had captured her image on the webcam and would post the pictures to her MySpace friends unless she posed for more explicit pictures and videos for him.

    The girl complied for a while, but finally balked, and the stranger briefly took control of her MySpace page and threatened to expose her. Investigators traced the online threats to Shea and raided his Mechanicsburg, Md., home in March 2010, and eventually found videos of five more girls on Shea’s computer.

    The proposed plea agreement does not include any agreed-upon recommended sentence. Both sides will argue for what they deem to be an appropriate sentence at a hearing to be scheduled later.

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