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Sunday, October 25, 2020  Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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Ohio man arrested in sextortion case targeting Florida student via Snapchat

By David Harris Orlando Sentinel

ORLANDO, Fla. – An Ohio man was arrested Wednesday after he extorted a University of Central Florida student with her sexually explicit photos and posted them online, an arrest affidavit said.

John Ferdinand Thompson, 23, faces charges of sexual cyber-harassment, stalking and extortion.

Thompson, who lives near Dayton, hired a hacker to obtain the victim’s Snapchat login and password, the affidavit said. The hacker tricked the victim into giving up her information and then locked her out of the account.

The hacker then demanded that she send sexually explicit photos in exchange for her new password. A few hours later, someone started sending explicit photos from her Snapchat account. Police did not identify the hacker.

On July 12, the victim contacted UCF police after she learned someone was posting other photos from her Snapchat on a website. The next day someone – later identified as Thompson – texted her another photo along with her father’s Facebook account and mother’s phone number, the affidavit said.

Thompson threatened to send the photo to her family, according to the affidavit. At this point, UCF police got involved and contacted Thompson, the affidavit said.

According to police, Thompson admitted to the scheme and knew the victim through an ex-girlfriend. He turned himself into the Orange County Jail where he bonded out.

UCF Police Chief Carl Metzger said he has seen similar cases on campus and advised students to be careful.

“Increasingly, we’re hearing about overly trusting and sometimes reckless interactions among strangers via texts, apps and social media,” Metzger said. “The unfortunate reality is that there are bad people out there seeking to prey on victims for personal gain or satisfaction.”

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