LARIMER COUNTY, Colo. (CBS4) – A Larimer County teenager says she was blackmailed into sexting with a man and police say the suspect even coerced her to send pictures of her 11-year-old sister.
The suspect, identified as Paul Montalbo, 18, was taken into custody in Mays Landing, N.J. He allegedly coerced the two young girls into performing sexual acts on Skype. The type of blackmail is a popular tool used by sexual predators online.
“Our office got notified from a parent who found one of their children under the age of 18 had what is commonly referred to as sexting photos,” Larimer County Sheriff Justin Smith said.
Smith says Montalbo coerced the young girls into performing sex acts after threatening to post nude photos on Facebook if they didn’t comply.
“When the individual had the pictures and didn’t get what he wanted in the way of more pictures there was the threat to use social media Facebook to put those back up,” Smith said. “You can only imagine the terror in the minds of an 11-year-old and a 14-year-old.”
It’s a strategy Smith says is increasingly common.
By studying a computer confiscated from a convicted sex offender, investigators find file sharing sites are often a host for child pornography.
“There’s the dark side of the Internet; programs like this where they’re not specifically intended for this, they are used to download and share child pornography,” said Cpl. Aaron Horwitz, a Larimer County investigator.
The Larmier County Sheriff’s Office wants to encourage parents to talk to their children about the dangers of sexting and its consequences..
“There is no way to call back that photo, and then there’s no way to control on the other end, and there’s no way verify that who you’re talking to is who they purport themselves to be,” Horwitz said.
Parents should also to go the extra mile and examine their children’s cellphones, tablets and computers on a regular basis.
“I have four kids. They hate it but I watch everything they do,” Horwitz said.
The suspect is in custody on a $100,000 cash bail and additional charges are pending.