- The suspect admitted to victimizing at least 100 people, mostly teens, FBI says
- Richard Finkbiner, 39, allegedly threatened to post teens' videos on gay porn sites
- "You want to play this game or you want to be a gay porn star?" he allegedly told teens
- It could take months to identify the victims, a prosecutor's spokesman says
An Indiana man allegedly blackmailed teenaged boys into being his camera "slaves" by threatening to post their videos on gay porn websites, a criminal complaint said.
Richard Leon Finkbiner, 39, admitted during an interrogation to victimizing at least 100 people, mostly boys 14 to 16 years old, an FBI agent said in a sworn affidavit made public Monday.
"You want to play this game, or you want to be a gay porn star?" Finkbiner allegedly told one victim when he demanded that he perform sex acts during a video Skype call, the federal complaint said.
Finkbiner, arrested at his Brazil, Indiana, home last Friday, is charged with sexual exploitation of children involving two 14-year-old victims identified in Michigan and Maryland, court documents said.
It could take months to identify many of the victims seen in thousands of video files found on Finkbiner's computer and other digital devices, said Timothy Horty, a spokesman for the U.S. Attorney's Office in Indianapolis.
"These victims go into chat rooms, develop a relationship and conversation with someone," Horty said. Finkbiner would then capture uncoerced video of the boys, who probably did not know they were talking to a 39-year-old man, he said.
Finkbiner would then e-mail them a link to their own video with the threat to publish it on gay porn sites if they did not agree to become his "cam slave."
"I'll add your name and email so if anyone googles u they will see ur video," Finkbiner allegedly wrote to a Michigan teen in February.
That teen complied, but after a second instance he "broke down" from stress, FBI Special Agent Ryan Barrett said.
The boy "became emotional and hysterical, and disclosed to his brother what was happening," Barrett said. The brother told their parents, who then contacted the Oakland County, Michigan, Sheriff's Department, he said.
An investigator tracked the e-mail address and Skype account to Finkbiner in Indiana, the agent said.
An investigator in Prince George's County, Maryland, was also on Finkbiner's trail for a November exchange involving a 14-year-old boy, the complaint said.
When shown a photo of the Maryland teen during an interrogation, Finkbiner could not recall the boy specifically because he had "coerced the production of video and images of so many people engaged in sexually explicit conduct that he could not readily recognize every individual," the agent said.
A search of his e-mail revealed instances in which one boy begged Finkbiner to leave him alone: "I'm only a kid and this is against the law so please stop doing this I beg you," the boy wrote.
"I wont get caught im a hacker I covered my tracks," Finkbiner allegedly replied.
If convicted on the initial charges, Finkbiner faces a maximum sentence of 30 years in prison. He is scheduled to appear before a federal judge in Terre Haute, Indiana, on Wednesday.
"Our advice is never friend an individual that you don't know personally," Horty said. "Parents have to know who their children are communicating with on the Internet."