Indiana Man Charged with ‘Sextortion’ of Children

INDIANAPOLIS—Richard Leon Finkbiner, 39, of Brazil, Indiana, has been charged with the sexual exploitation of children by inducing and coercing at least two minors to engage in sexually explicit activity that Finkbiner allegedly captured with a webcam, conduct frequently referred to as “sextortion,” U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of Indiana Joseph H. Hogsett announced today. This arrest is the result of the FBI and local law enforcement partners.

“As a member of the law enforcement community, and more importantly, as a parent, these are the types of cases that keep me up at night,” said Hogsett in a press release. “This defendant may not remember his alleged victims, but the true tragedy is that not one of them will ever forget.”

“Unfortunately, it appears based on the criminal complaint that there may be many other victims in this case, possibly here in Indiana and across the country,” he added.

Related Article: Beware of ‘Sextortion’

Although only two victims have been identified and confirmed at this early stage of the investigation, the FBI discoverd thousands of sexually explicit images and videos depicting hundreds of individuals, which may indicate the existence of many other victims.

The U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of Indiana is urging those who may have been victimized or who may have information about possible victims to contact the Indianapolis Cybersquad Division of the FBI at (877) 542-8979.

Authorities allege that on multiple occasions between November 2011 and February 2012, Finkbiner made online contact with two male minors (both 14 years old) using video chat Web sites. The victims described in the complaint were residents of Michigan and Maryland. In both instances, Finkbiner allegedly sent the victims sexually explicit video clips that he had allegedly captured online showing the victims.

Finkbiner then is alleged to have told both minors that if they did not follow specific instructions, those video clips would be released on the Internet and/or would be forwarded to the minor’s friends. The complaint alleges that as part of this “sextortion” scheme, Finkbiner then coerced the minor males into recording sexually explicit videos for him.

In the case of the Michigan victim, Finkbiner is alleged to have coerced the minor into producing such child pornography for two consecutive evenings after his initial contact in late February 2012, with demands that such behavior continue, at which point the victim’s family became aware and notified law enforcement. The complaint alleges a similar scheme was attempted with the Maryland victim in November 2011, but the victim contacted authorities prior to producing sexually explicit materials for Finkbiner.

According to Assistant U.S. Attorneys A. Brant Cook and Zachary A. Myers, who are prosecuting the case for the government, Finkbiner faces a maximum sentence of 30 years in prison on current charges. A detention hearing will be scheduled before a federal judge in Indianapolis.

This case was brought as part of the U.S. Attorney’s Project Safe Childhood, a nationwide initiative to combat the growing epidemic of child sexual exploitation and abuse launched in May 2006 by the Department of Justice. For more on Project Safe Childhood, visit www.projectsafechildhood.gov.

Read the full press release.

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