Man sentenced for ‘sextortion’ campaign against local college student

A Pennsylvania man was sentenced in Boston’s U.S. District Court Thursday for a “sextortion” campaign against a local college student.

Twenty-year old James Connor V, of West Chester, pleaded guilty to one count of cyberstalking and one count of extortion in January. He was sentenced to time served, three years of supervised release, the first 10 months to be served in home confinement, a $5,000 fine, and 500 hours of community service, according to the U.S. Attorney’s office.

Connor and the victim met in 2012 through social media and developed an “online relationship,” authorities said. During their relationship, the victim sent naked pictures of herself through Snapchat to Connor and participated in sexually explicit video chats with him using Facetime. Connor saved images from those interactions without her consent, according to authorities.

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After the relationship ended, the U.S. Attorney’s office said Connor attempted to continue communication with the victim, threatening to make the images he saved public to harm her reputation and threatening her physically. He also threatened to commit suicide if she did not take his calls, sending photos of himself holding a knife to his own throat, with blood dripping down that was later determined to be fake, according to authorities.

Authorities said the harassment escalated in 2015 when Connor began blackmailing the victim and threatened to send the images to her parents and Twitter followers if she did not send more naked photos to him and engage in sexually explicit video chats with him in addition to other demands, including that she break up with her current boyfriend.

Connor was arrested in October 2015 after the victim reported the incidents to law enforcement.

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