Man sentenced for extortion, child pornography

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. - A 24-year-old Jacksonville man was sentenced Thursday to five and a half years in federal prison and a 10-year term of supervised release for making extortionate threats over the Internet and possessing images and videos of child pornography.

Joshua Williamson was also ordered to register as a sex offender and forfeit his computer media.

According to court documents, from February 2011 through June 7, 2011, Williamson repeatedly used a computer and interactive computer services to transmit threatening communications to several females over the Internet. He transmitted these threatening communications with the intent to extort sexually explicit photographic images from the victims.

Williamson compromised their email and social networking accounts in an effort to gather personal information about them, including sexually suggestive and provocative photographs. He sent email or other electronic communications to the victims, demanding they send him nude and sexually explicit photographic images. Williamson would inform the victim that if she did not comply with his demand, he would send sexually suggestive and provocative pictures to her friends on her email contact and mailing lists.

Williamson hacked into the email accounts and social networking sites of dozens of women. In doing so, he was able to access and obtain photographs of some of the victims.

On May 19, 2011, Williamson sent extortionate emails to about 75 other females requesting that the victims send him "full nude photos" or risk having pictures sent to the victims' email and Facebook contacts.

Williamson used several Internet protocol addresses to access the Internet and send out the extortionate emails. He used an anonymizer program in an unsuccessful effort to conceal his identity.

A forensic analysis of Williamson's computer revealed folders titled in the names of nearly 150 different women. Many of the folders contained photographs of the women, as well as their personal information. About 23 images and 31 videos of child pornography were also found on his computer.

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