Facebook extortion scheme targeted more than a dozen underage girls
A 23-year-old man used just a cellphone and an Internet connection to sexually extort more than a dozen underage girls for more than a year, according to authorities in Indianapolis. Austin Williams convinced them to send him nude photos and then posted them to Facebook when they wouldn’t meet up with him or send more. One of the girls even attempted suicide as a result.
USA Today reported that investigation into Williams began in January, when he was accused of raping a 15-year-old. Later, allegations were brought against him by nine other women, ages 14 to 17. Williams, using aliases like "Darien Sims" and "Dorisha Simmons," would gain their trust and then threaten to post the girls’ images to Facebook if they didn’t send more or agree to meet up with him.
USA Today quoted a probable-cause affidavit saying that Williams told the girls, “Since u playin games, if u don't send me 8 pics of u naked or cum over later ima post All ur pics." The victim in that instance refused, and Williams posted the photos. The girl was then humiliated and bullied at school.
According to the affidavit, when Williams met the victims in person, he posed as the brother or boyfriend of the person the girls believed they were talking to online. During these meetings, Williams is accused of sexually harassing or assaulting the girls.
Authorities told USA Today that they did not learn about the “sextortion” on Facebook until Williams was accused of rape in January. “None of the other girls,” USA Today reported, “told investigators about their experiences.”