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A Case of ‘Sextortion’

The basic framework of the extortionist’s scheme was as cold as it was calculated: contact a young girl on a social networking site using a fake identity, gain her trust, extract some highly personal information, and then threaten to expose her intimate exchanges if she doesn’t assent to escalating demands for sexually explicit pictures or videos.

Feb 05, 2013 04:00 PM

A Case of ‘Sextortion’


The basic framework of the extortionist’s scheme was as cold as it was calculated: contact a young girl on a social networking site using a fake identity, gain her trust, extract some highly personal information, and then threaten to expose her intimate exchanges if she doesn’t assent to escalating demands for sexually explicit pictures or videos.

The case of Christopher Patrick Gunn, 31, of Montgomery, Alabama, who was sentenced last month to 35 years in prison for producing child pornography through a massive online sextortion scheme, provides a glimpse of how modern-day confidence men are plying their trade against the most vulnerable and unsuspecting victims. By trolling social media networks and lurking in video chats, Gunn was able to reach out to hundreds of young girls and set his bait.

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