Updated: Friday, 01 Feb 2013, 3:40 PM EST
Published : Tuesday, 10 Jul 2012, 6:04 PM EDT
CLAY COUNTY, Ind. (WTHI) - Federal prosecutors announced new charges Tuesday against a Wabash Valley man accused of coercing minors into sending him explicit images of themselves online.
Police first arrested Richard Finkbiner, 39, of Brazil, Ind. in April 2012 after a lengthy investigation into claims by two teenage boys that a man they met online blackmailed them into sending him sexually explicit images of themselves.
Investigators eventually found their way to Finkbiner’s home, where they reported finding thousands of sexually explicit photos and videos, many showing people that appeared to be between 14 and 16 years old.
U.S. Attorney Joseph Hogsett said ten more minors have come forward since Finkbiner’s arrest in April, alleging Finkbiner also coerced them into sending him lewd photos and videos of themselves.
Those alleged victims, who range in age from twelve to 17, live in various parts of the United States, including Avon, Ind., Sissonville, W.V., Dubuque, Iowa, River Falls, Wis., Cincinnati, Ohio, Hamlin, N.Y., Grand Rapids, Mich., Fairview Heights, Ill., and Fort Collins, Colo.
Investigators said the new alleged victims have also provided new information on how Finkbiner may have extorted images from minors. They now believe Finkbiner used video chat Web sites to find children online, and they allege that Finkbiner used “fake webcame” software to show pornographic videos which he claimed to be live feeds from his Web camera.
In turn, they believe he convinced the minors to send him explicit images of themselves. Once Finkbiner had those images, he reportedly threatened to post them online if the minors did not send more explicit images.
As a consequence, authorities believe many of the teens involved never saw Finkbiner’s face or knew anything about his identity, something that could make it hard for alleged victims to identify him.
Instead, the Federal Bureau of Investigation has released a list of email addresses Finkbiner used in his alleged scheme. Those emails, many of which are sexually explicit, can be viewed by clicking on the photo tab on this page. Those who recognize the addresses or believe they are victims in the case are asked to call the FBI at (877) 542-8979.
“For us to get the fullest justice possible for the crimes we allege have happened, we need these people to be willing to come forward and talk to law enforcement,” said Zachary Myers, Assistant U.S. Attorney. “It’s hard. We’re talking about vulnerable teenagers who are caught in an obviously very uncomfortable, disturbing, frightening, nightmarish situation.”
Finkbiner now faces ten charges of sexual exploitation of children, two counts of extortion and one count of possession of child pornography.
To view our original story on Finkbiner’s arrest , click here.
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