Man used Facebook to try to blackmail girl for porn

He threatened to send her underaged friends the photos if she didn't give him an explicit video

A 27-year-old California man pleaded guilty Wednesday to charges that he tried to coerce a 14-year-old girl into sending him pornographic videos by threatening to publicize sexually explicit pictures of her that he'd dug up.

Starting in December 2008, James Dale Brown used Facebook to contact the girl, who lived out-of-state, demanding that she send him a video of her having sex.

Somehow he'd obtained photos of the girl, some of which were sexually explicit. He said that if she did not send him a video, he would send the pictures to the unidentified victims' underage friends. If she sent the video, he promised to "delete all pictures of her 'from the Internet,'" the U.S. Department of Justice said Wednesday in a statement.

Brown, a United Parcel Service (UPS) worker who used the alias "Bob Lewis" on Facebook, finally carried out his threat on April 18, 2009, sending links to an explicit image of the girl to one of the victim's friends. Five days later, the U.S. Federal Bureau of Investigation raided Brown's Fremont, California, residence. He was arrested on Aug. 26, 2010.

Brown's lawyer, Robert Beles, could not be reached immediately for comment.

Just last month, another California man, George Bronk, admitted to breaking into more than 3,200 e-mail accounts in a hunt for explicit photos of women. He would use Facebook to learn answers to the security questions that Web-based e-mail services use to reset passwords and then use that information to break into his victims' Gmail and Yahoo Mail accounts.

Bronk ultimately convinced one woman to send him even more explicit photographs before he was arrested last year.

It isn't surprising that there are so many of these images in women's e-mail out-boxes and mobile phones, according to Amanda Lenhart, a senior research specialist at the Pew Internet & American Life Project.

According to her, a May 2010 Pew survey found that 6 percent of adults have sent a "suggestive nude or nearly nude photos of themselves to someone else via text messaging," a practice known as "sexting," she said in a January e-mail interview. Amongst 18-to-29 year-olds, that group jumped to 13 percent.

In another survey, Pew found that 15 percent of cell-phone owning teenagers had been sent sexually suggestive photos or videos of someone they know.

Brown could face 30 years in prison on the extortion and child pornography charges. He's set to be sentenced on May 11.

Robert McMillan covers computer security and general technology breaking news for The IDG News Service. Follow Robert on Twitter at @bobmcmillan. Robert's e-mail address is robert_mcmillan@idg.com

Join the newsletter!

Or

Sign up to gain exclusive access to email subscriptions, event invitations, competitions, giveaways, and much more.

Membership is free, and your security and privacy remain protected. View our privacy policy before signing up.

Error: Please check your email address.

Tags privacycybercrimeinternetFacebooklegalsocial networkingInternet-based applications and services

Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Robert McMillan

IDG News Service
Show Comments

Cool Tech

Toys for Boys

Family Friendly

Stocking Stuffer

SmartLens - Clip on Phone Camera Lens Set of 3

Learn more >

Christmas Gift Guide

Click for more ›

Brand Post

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Aysha Strobbe

Microsoft Office 365/HP Spectre x360

Microsoft Office continues to make a student’s life that little bit easier by offering reliable, easy to use, time-saving functionality, while continuing to develop new features that further enhance what is already a formidable collection of applications

Michael Hargreaves

Microsoft Office 365/Dell XPS 15 2-in-1

I’d recommend a Dell XPS 15 2-in-1 and the new Windows 10 to anyone who needs to get serious work done (before you kick back on your couch with your favourite Netflix show.)

Maryellen Rose George

Brother PT-P750W

It’s useful for office tasks as well as pragmatic labelling of equipment and storage – just don’t get too excited and label everything in sight!

Cathy Giles

Brother MFC-L8900CDW

The Brother MFC-L8900CDW is an absolute stand out. I struggle to fault it.

Luke Hill

MSI GT75 TITAN

I need power and lots of it. As a Front End Web developer anything less just won’t cut it which is why the MSI GT75 is an outstanding laptop for me. It’s a sleek and futuristic looking, high quality, beast that has a touch of sci-fi flare about it.

Emily Tyson

MSI GE63 Raider

If you’re looking to invest in your next work horse laptop for work or home use, you can’t go wrong with the MSI GE63.

Featured Content

Product Launch Showcase

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?