A father from upstate New York has admitted to posing as his 14-year-old daughter’s online boyfriend and forcing her to send him nude photos of herself, which he then used as leverage when he started sexually abusing her.
The twisted catfishing scheme and incestuous relationship came to light when the victim told a nurse at her school that she was being molested by her own father.
On Monday, the 41-year-old man from Herkimer County tearfully pleaded guilty to a dozen federal counts of enticing a child to produce child pornography and receiving and sending child pornography.
He is also facing additional charges of sexual abuse in Herkimer County Court
Court filings in this case, obtained by Syracuse.com, detail how the 41-year-old man, who is not being identified to protect his daughter, who is the victim of a sex crime, concocted an elaborate plot in which he pretended to be a 16-year-old boy. He later lied that the teen killed himself.
It all started in September 2013 when, according to court documents, the man set up fake accounts on Instagram, AOL and a text messaging service, and began chatting with his own daughter.
Although the two had never met in person, they eventually began calling each other boyfriend and girlfriend.
Before long, the father posing as the teen boy started pressing his daughter to send him nude photos of herself. At first she resisted his advances, but finally she broke down and sent him some explicit images.
In November of that year, the girl informed her online boyfriend that she wanted to break up with him because all he wanted to talk about was ‘sex and more sex,’ while she wanted more out of a relationship.
In response to his request to send him more nude photos, the teen said, ‘I’m not going to do that,’ according to the documents.
In text message exchanges, the father pretending to be the teen threatened his daughter that he would send her X-rated photos to her dad, the filings stated.
‘I told you that a bunch of times when we were dating that I don’t like those pics and now you are threatening me that if I don’t send you those then you’ll send my dad the ones I sent you before?’ she texted back. ‘My life is ruined.’
Sometime after their split, the 14-year-old girl got a message from her erstwhile boyfriend’s account from someone pretending to be his mother, who informed her that the 16-year-old had committed suicide.
With his teenage alter ego out of the picture, the dad revealed to his daughter that before he killed himself, her ex-boyfriend had sent him her nude photos, according to the court papers.
Soon after, prosecutors say the man began molesting the girl. The abuse only came to an end after the 14-year-old approached the school nurse, who in turn alerted police.
The 41-year-old father at the center of the sick catfishing scheme faces up to 250 years in prison when he is sentenced in July.