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Feds: Man Involved In 'Sextortion' Of 12 Teens

Last updated on Wednesday, July 11, 2012

(INDIANAPOLIS) - A man who was previously charged in “sextortion” cases involving two minors was charged Tuesday with 10 new counts, including multiple charges of sexual exploitation of children.

Richard Finkbiner, 39, of Brazil, was originally arrested in April 2012 after he induced and coerced two boys into sexually explicit activity online, threatening to post the videos to gay porn sites unless they made more videos for his private use.

"These are the type of charges, child exploitation and extortion that, frankly, as a parent, keep me awake at night," U.S. Attorney Joe Hogsett told RTV6's Derrik Thomas.

Finkbiner was also charged with two counts of extortion and one count of possession of child pornography. There are a total of 12 victims, federal prosecutors said. Nine are boys and three are girls. They range in age from 12 to 17 and live in 11 states.

The new victims were found after three months of forensic analysis and investigation.

"These charges formalize allegations of a systematic scheme to victimize hundreds of children and teenagers all over the country," said Hogsett. "Thanks to the tireless work of investigators, over the last three months we have been able to identify and contact many victims of these alleged acts. This process is ongoing, and we continue to do all we can to offer support after the nightmare they are alleged to have endured."

One of the victims, a 16-year-old boy, lives in Avon. The others are in West Virginia, Iowa, Wisconsin, Ohio, New York, Michigan, Illinois, Minnesota, Alaska and Colorado.

Prosecutors said Finkbiner threatened two girls, ages 16 and 14, that he would distribute sexually suggestive or partially nude images.

Finkbiner used anonymous video chat websites, including Omegle.com, to approach the children, investigators said.

Prosecutors said he faked a webcam to depict pornographic videos of adults and children to his victims, claiming that they were live feeds.

Finkbiner induced the victims to engage in sexually explicit activity and recorded it secretly, prosecutors said. He then told the chat partners that he had video and would send them to the victims' friends, family members, teachers and pornographic websites if they didn't become his "cam slaves" and engage in more sexual activity, which investigators said he also recorded.

Finkbiner faces a maximum of 30 years in prison on each count of sexual exploitation of children, if convicted. He could receive a maximum of 10 years in prison on the possession of child pornography charge.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Zach Myers said he is "prepared to prove beyond a reasonable doubt" that Finkbiner is guilty of the crimes for which he has been accused.

Sharon Pierce, of Prevent Child Abuse Indiana, is warning parents to remain ever vigilant.

"They need to be as computer savvy as their children. That's one of the best protections," Pierce said. "But first and foremost, they need to emphasize to children, never give personal information your name, your address, certainly not pictures of yourself."

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