In a deeply hideous case out of upstate New York, a 41-year-old man pleaded guilty Monday on child pornography charges; the victim was his 14-year-old daughter. The man posed as a teenage boy to coerce and bully her into sending nude images, and he then began sexually abusing her after faking the suicide of her internet boyfriend.

Syracuse.com reports that the Herkimer County man, who we won’t identify by name to protect his daughter’s privacy, pleaded guilty Monday in federal court to 12 counts of enticing a child to produce child pornography, as well as sending and receiving child porn. He also faces sexual abuse charges in county court.

Court documents show that the man created a fake Instagram account in October 2013; soon after, he began messaging his daughter, claiming to be 15 and live near the Canadian border. He told her she had a “hot body” and asked if she had a boyfriend, and soon began demanding that she send nude images.

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By November, the girl was trying to break up with her internet boyfriend; he demanded more nude photos by threatening to send her father screenshots of their explicit text conversations. The girl reluctantly complied, sending photos, then writing, repeatedly, “Can we please be done?”

After the girl and her “boyfriend” broke up, the man transmitted the explicit images of his daughter from his computer to his cellphone (also a federal crime), and used them as “leverage” to begin abusing her, saying the boyfriend had sent him the photos. He also, for good measure, posed as the boy’s mother, telling his daughter her boyfriend had died by suicide. From Syracuse.com:

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After the girl broke up with him, the girl received a text from the boy’s account from someone claiming to be his mother, court papers said. The text message said the boy had committed suicide.

Soon after that, the father told the girl that the boyfriend had sent him the photos, court papers said. The father often referred to them and how much he liked them while he sexually abused the girl, Fletcher wrote in court papers.

The man’s scheme began to unfold a year after the fake suicide, when the girl reported to her school nurse that her father was sexually abusing her, court papers said.

“Only after that did his torture of her subside,” Fletcher said at the detention hearing.

Syracuse.com reports that the man wept in court, telling the judge, “I’m giving away many years of my life.”

He faces up to 250 years in prison on the federal charges alone; he is due to be sentenced in July.


Contact the author at anna.merlan@jezebel.com.

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