People in at least three parts of Louisiana are victims of an international extortion scheme to produce child pornography, and additional victims are being asked to come forward, the Federal Bureau of Investigation announced Tuesday.
The man behind what’s been dubbed “sextortion” is 31-year-old Lucas Michael Chansler, formerly of St. Johns, Florida, who was sentenced to 105 years in federal prison after pleading guilty to nine counts of child pornography Aug. 13, 2014.
A map released by the FBI shows three spots in south Louisiana near New Orleans as places where Chansler used one of about 135 screen names to coerce some 350 minors in the U.S., Canada and England to expose themselves and engage in sexually explicit conduct online. Unbeknownst to the victims, Chansler recorded the sessions, according to the FBI. He then asked for more graphic scenes or videos, and if his target disobeyed, Chansler threatened to send the videos to that person’s friends or family members.
Chansler used names like CaptainObvious, sk8er4life2021 and VictorHugo on platforms including Myspace, Stickam and AIM to start conversations with mostly teen girls, first posing as an acquaintance or admirer to slowly build trust before exploiting his victims, according to the FBI.
During an interview with law enforcement, Chansler said that he used social networking sites to meet girls ages 13 to 18. He said he chose underage girls because adult women were “too smart” to fall for his scheme.
According to the FBI, a search of Chansler’s computer media revealed hundreds of folders labeled with the names of each victim. The folders contained personal information specific to each victim as well as related chat transcripts and videos or photos. Many of the chat logs contained the threats Chansler had made.
In several of the videos, the victims are seen crying and pleading with Chansler. In total, he had about 80,000 images and videos in his possession, the FBI said.
Joseph S. Campbell, assistant director of the FBI’s criminal investigative division said, “Sextortion is a growing threat both domestically and internationally. The devastating impact of these crimes on the victims, their families, and friends cannot be ignored.”
Anyone who believes he or she might be an additional victim of Chansler is asked to contact the FBI at 800-CALL-FBI.
The agency also accepts confidential emails at firstname.lastname@example.org.
A confidential questionnaire for possible victims is available at fbi.gov/sextortion.