A 41-year-old man from upstate New York faces the possibility of up to 250 years in prison after he created fake online profiles pretending to be a teenaged boy then pressured his 14-year-old daughter to send him nude photos then later blackmailed her into silence when he started sexually abusing her.
The man faced sexual abuse charges in Herkimer County Court today and pled guilty to the charges. The father reportedly had a river of tears streaming down his face at the possibility of a life-long sentence for abusing his own daughter. The federal court has seen 12 counts of enticing a child to produce child pornography as well as receiving and sending child porn brought against the abusive father.
The courts heard of how the devious scheme began in September 2013 when the man set up social media accounts like Instagram, AOL, and even with a texting service under a fake name. He then pretended to be a 16-year-old boy from another town who became interested in his daughter. After a while, the man’s daughter and his online persona developed a texting relationship and began referring to each other as boyfriend and girlfriend even though they had not met in person.
Syracuse chose to withhold the man’s name from the public in their original publication of the story so as to protect the identity of his daughter since she is a minor in a sexual abuse crime case.
After a period of time, the father began asking his daughter for nude photographs of herself and though she initially resisted she eventually gave in to the pressure. However, by November, she had began recognizing that her online relationship was unhealthy and tried to end things with the online persona her father had created. The father was not so eager to end things though and while still posing as the teenage boy and tried to extort more nude photos from the girl telling her that if she sent more he would let her go. Court evidence showed that the girl tried to refuse.
“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.”
The man then threatened that unless she sent him more nudes he would send the ones he already had to her father so that he would not have to worry about anyone else having her. He made these threats on a continuous basis and at one point she texted him that her “life is over” as her father would kill her should he discover that she had sent nude photos to someone.
When the man’s daughter eventually still moved forward and broke off things with her online boyfriend the father then killed off the persona entirely. Buzzfeed News told of how he messaged his daughter, pretending to be the mother of her ex-boyfriend and told her that the boy had committed suicide.
Assistant U.S. Attorney Lisa Fletcher pleaded with the courts to take into account that the man extorting the 14-year-old for nude photos was her own father, making the crime even more heinous, especially considering what he did next.
The man approached his daughter and told her that her “boyfriend” had, in fact, sent him the nudes before he killed himself and he quite liked them. The father then began sexually abusing his daughter. The abuse went on for about a year after the fake suicide of his teenager’s “boyfriend.” That was when the young girl finally got the courage to tell a school nurse about her father’s actions and the police were brought in. An investigation revealed that the messages sent to the teenager came from within her own home. Only then was the girl free from her father and his abuse.
The father’s emotional breakdown in the court was accompanied by a statement that his sentence would mean he is “giving away years of his life.”
He is also facing sexual abuse charges.
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