More charges filed in 'sextortion' case

2011-09-15 16:30

Indianapolis - A man charged with extorting a teen into sexual favours victimised other teens in several states after he was released on bond, federal prosecutors said on Wednesday.

Trevor Shea, 20, has agreed to plead guilty to charges of sexual exploitation of children stemming from both cases, according to the US Attorney's Office.

Prosecutors say he blackmailed and convinced 10 girls between the ages of 13 and 16 to send him sexually explicit photographs or videos.

Court documents filed in US District Court in Indianapolis allege that Shea coerced four girls in Florida, Kansas and Maryland into various acts after his release on bond following his initial indictment in June 2010.

At the time, Shea was on home detention and being electronically monitored and had agreed not to use a computer as a term of release. He was in US marshals' custody on Wednesday.

US Attorney A Brant Cook said it was important for teens to realise that online acts that seem harmless and private today can later come back to haunt them.

"It's important to note that digital images... never go away and can be passed along at the click of a button," he said at a news conference to announce the charges on Wednesday.


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.

Shea's attorney, Michael Donahoe, declined to comment on the case.

The case is an example of a growing crime that federal prosecutors call "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.

US Attorney Joe Hogsett said Shea's case was a "landmark of its kind" in part because there were so many victims from across the country and he allegedly forced the girls to indulge in sadistic and masochistic behaviour on webcam.

Shea's case began in September 2009, when police received a report that a 16-year-old girl from Brownsburg, Indiana, 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 documents said.

Couldn’t escape him

"Every time she logged on to the internet, she couldn't escape him," said Brownsburg police Detective Sergeant Jennifer Pyatt, who attended the news conference.

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 Maryland home in March 2010, and eventually found videos of five more girls on Shea's computer, the documents said.

After appearing in court in June 2010, Shea was released on bond and ordered not to use a computer or the internet. But in November, police in Pace, Florida, received a report that a 16-year-old girl was being blackmailed over the internet.

Documents say a person later found to be Shea contacted the girl and asked if the person who had blackmailed her previously had been caught, then told her to guess who was back.
Shea allegedly coerced the girl into posing for several nude videos before she contacted police.

Authorities traced the threats to Shea's residence, where they arrested him and seized his computer on December 22.

Investigators who examined the computer also found videos of three additional girls, one from Maryland and two from Kansas, engaged in sexually explicit acts that were later found to have been made while Shea was on pre-trial release.

That led to the new charges.

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.

- AP

Read more on:    us

Read News24’s Comments Policy publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
Add your comment
Comment 0 characters remaining

Inside News24


An uncomfortable election

The latter few weeks of election 2014, have seen South Africans reeling from an assault on their comfort zone when it comes to voting, writes Daniel Silke


Latest elections multimedia

Why Jack Parow wants you to vote on 7 May
The ad the SABC doesn't want to air
Elections 2014 in one cartoon
This year's election posters
  • Thursday Sir Lowry's Pass - 05:35 AM
    Road name: Old Sir Lowrys Pass Road
    TRAFFIC LIGHTS not working at Bezweni Road
  • Thursday Cape Town - 05:35 AM
    Road name: Buitengracht Street
    TRAFFIC LIGHTS not working at Waterkant Street
More traffic reports...

Jobs in Cape Town [change area]

Property [change area]

Travel - Look, Book, Go!

Escape winter, head to Mauritius

Escape winter by spending 7 nights in Mauritius' tropical bliss from R13 215 per person sharing. Includes return flights, airport transfers and accommodation. Book now! - shop online today

Get many eggs in one basket!

Gaming bundles: 2 Super Hits games for R99, 3 Disney games for R99 and more + exclusive accessory bundles only available on While stocks last. Shop now!

25% off bestselling books!

The Real Meal Revolution by Tim Noakes, Jeffrey Archer’s Be Careful What You Wish for, Man’s Search for Meaning by Victor E. Frank and many more titles. Shop now!

Up to 25% off electronics

Buy top electronics and save up to 25%. Such as’s 1# selling product the gobii eReader, Patriot X Porter flash drive, Asus Nexus 7” 3G tablet, Samsung Galaxy SIII, Lenovo G580 Notebook and many more. Shop now!

DStv HD PVR Decoder now R949

The DStv HD PVR Decoder has further revolutionised the television experience with lifelike viewing, sharper images, more vibrant colours and precision picture quality. Now R949, save R550. Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now!

Up to 30% off appliances & homeware

Save up to 30% on appliances and homeware this Easter! Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now.

OLX Free Classifieds [change area]

Samsung Galaxy s4

Mobile, Cell Phones in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 24

Best bargain in big bay

Real Estate, Houses - Apartments for Sale in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

VW Golf 6, 1.6 Trendline (Excellent condition)

Vehicles, Cars in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

BlackBerry Curve 3G 9300

Keep it together Text. Email. Social. With all the different ways to...

From R1399.00

I'm shopping for:


You may find yourself putting in that extra effort on looking good and making an impression. more

There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.


Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire network.


Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.