A child sex predator victimized dozens of children with an online sextortion scheme. Investigators have positively identified 36 girls but they fear his victims may number in the hundreds. Edward “Eddie” Okenica lived in Georgia. He used Snapchat and Instagram to sexually victimize girls as young as 12 all over the country and the world. I’ll warn you now, the details of his crimes are incredibly disturbing.
According to U.S. Attorney Byung J. “BJay” Pak, Okenica used Snapchat and Instagram to convince girls to send him sexually explicit photos. In some cases, he offered presents in exchange for sending photos or videos. Once he had the images in hand, he wouldn’t allow the girls to stop sending them.
This type of scheme is called “sextortion.” Okenica threatened to share videos online to the girls’ friends and families unless they did what he wanted. In fact, he did post videos of children who refused to cooperate. If a girl blocked him on social media, he established a new account to find her and demand more videos.
According to officials, he demanded the girls perform sexually humiliating acts including placing household objects in their bodies. Even though this child sex predator was in Georgia, he found victims for his sextortion all over the world.
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“Okenica victimized dozens of girls as young as 12 years old from his home,” said U.S. Attorney Pak. “He is a sexual predator who exploited the vulnerability and fragility of his victims by relying on the relative anonymity of social media platforms. This case is a reminder that sextortion remains a huge threat to our youth and to their families and parents need to remain vigilant to guard against it by monitoring their children’s social media activities.”
Okenica admitted to his crimes and pleaded guilty to 11 counts of producing child pornography back in March. He was sentenced today to 28 years in prison to be followed by a lifetime of supervised release. He will be required to register as a sex offender.