FBI hunts for child sextortion victims of jailed man

Washington, July 8 (IANS) The FBI has launched a national campaign to spread awareness on sexual extortion, or sextortion, on the internet, and hunt for over 240 child pornography victims of a man in Florida, jailed for 105 years in November, Efe news agency reported on Wednesday.

Lucas Michael Chansler of St. Johns, Florida, blackmailed the teenagers to send him pornographic photos of themselves and was pronounced guilty in August on nine counts of production of child pornography.

“None of us in Jacksonville, including the task force officers and fellow agents who have been working on these type of violations for years, have ever seen anything like this,” said Special Agent Larry Meyer, head of the investigation, in a video posted on the FBI website on Tuesday.

Prosecutors say Chansler, 31, contacted over 350 young girls in 26 US states, three Canadian provinces and Britain.

The authorities identified 109 victims and are looking for 240 more.

For at least three years, between 2007 and 2010, Chansler preyed on adolescent girls on social networks, using several fake online accounts where he posed as an attractive 15-year-old boy.

After gaining his victims’ trust, Chansler convinced them to carry out sexual acts or take off their clothes in front of the webcam while secretly photographing them.

He later threatened to upload these images on the internet or send them to the girls’ parents if they did not agree to send him more explicit photos.

At the time of arrest, police said they found more than 80,000 photographs of child pornography in Chansler’s possession. He targeted girls between the ages of 13 and 18 years as older girls would not fall for his ploy.

On Tuesday, the FBI posted a list of the names and email addresses he used on different virtual platforms to target his victims.

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