Man pleads guilty to extorting women on Facebook

Feds say man hacked into of dozens of women's accounts, took info, photos

Published On: Aug 30 2012 04:22:49 PM EDT   Updated On: Aug 16 2012 11:37:01 AM EDT
JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -

A 24-year-old Jacksonville man pleaded guilty Wednesday to two counts of extortion over the Internet and one count of possession of child pornography.

According to federal prosecutors, Joshua Williamson compromised email and social network accounts of dozens women to obtain personal information and provocative and suggestive photos between February and May of 2011. 

Court documents show he threatened about 75 women, saying that if they did not send him nude and sexually explicit photos of themselves, he would sent the photos he already had to people on their email contact lists and their Facebook friends.

Investigators said he used several Internet protocol addresses and an anonymizer program to try and conceal his identity.

After a search of Williamson's home at which his computer was seized, FBI agent said he admitted making the threats in order to get more nude photos of women for the thrill of it and because he liked some of the women and wanted to see them naked.

A forensics analysis of Williamson's computer found folders on nearly 150 different women, many containing photographs and personal information including address, passwords, Social Security numbers and income tax returns.

Prosecutors say 23 images and 31 videos of child pornography were also found on his computer.

One of Williamson's neighbors was surprised he was capable of that behavior.

"I know the mom and the dad, so I find it shocking," Juan told Channel 4.

Williamson faces up to two years in federal prison and a $250,000 fine on the extortion charges and up to 10 years in prison and a $250,000 fine for the child pornography charge.

A sentencing date for Williamson has not yet been scheduled.