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Spokane Valley man gets 15 years for child pornography blackmail scheme

UPDATED: Wed., July 11, 2018, 6:54 p.m.

FILE _ A Spokane Valley man was sentenced Tuesday at the Thomas S. Foley United States Courthouse, shown here in 2014, to serve 15 years in federal prison after he previously pleaded guilty to posing as a teenager to convince other teens to provide nude photographs that he then used as blackmail to obtain more. James A. Joy, 29, must also register for life as a registered sex offender. (Jesse Tinsley / The Spokesman-Review)
FILE _ A Spokane Valley man was sentenced Tuesday at the Thomas S. Foley United States Courthouse, shown here in 2014, to serve 15 years in federal prison after he previously pleaded guilty to posing as a teenager to convince other teens to provide nude photographs that he then used as blackmail to obtain more. James A. Joy, 29, must also register for life as a registered sex offender. (Jesse Tinsley / The Spokesman-Review)

A Spokane Valley man was sentenced this week to serve 15 years in federal prison after he previously pleaded guilty to posing as a teenager to convince other teens to provide nude photographs that he then used as blackmail to obtain more.

James A. Joy, 29, of Spokane Valley, pleaded guilty last April to attempted production of child pornography following an investigation by the Spokane County Sheriff’s Office. Investigators began to target Joy after someone began soliciting images of child pornography on the website MeetMe.

According to court records, Joy set up the account under an alias and was pretending to be a 14-year-old child.

Joy told the FBI that he contacted “hundreds” of minor-age females in an effort to obtain nude photographs and succeeded in obtaining images from about 10 of them, according to a news release from the U.S. Attorney’s Office.

After obtaining the images, Joy threatened to send the images he received to family members and friends “unless they produced more.” His victims ranged in age from 13 to 16, the release said.

U.S. District Court Judge Thomas Rice on Tuesday sentenced Joy to serve 15 years in federal prison. That will be followed by a 20-year term of court supervision and a requirement to register as a sex offender for the rest of his life, the release said.