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Indiana man charged in online extortion sex scheme

By the CNN Wire Staff
  • Travis Davis has been charged with stalking, criminal coercion and other counts
  • Police say he threatened to send a sex video of his ex unless she came back to him
  • Davis was arrested near his ex's new boyfriend's house with a gun in his car

(CNN) -- An Indiana man awaiting sentencing on a rape charge tried to blackmail his ex-girlfriend into coming back to him by threatening to spread nude photos and video of her online, police in Pennsylvania said.

The ex-girlfriend told investigators that shortly after their brief relationship, Travis Davis sent a video of the two of them having sex, according to a police report from Delmont, Pennsylvania, outside Pittsburgh. The girlfriend told police she didn't know the video existed, the report states.

"Davis stated in the e-mail that he would send the video to everyone if she did not return to Indiana for him," the report states. He also approached her through the social networking site Facebook, using the name of the woman he has pleaded guilty to raping, and told her that he had sent the video to her mother, according to the report.

Noel Kersh, a computer forensic examiner, said the case illustrates the double-edged nature of social media.

"A good rule of thumb is that anything that good guys use for good can also be used by bad guys for bad," Kersh told HLN's "Issues with Jane Velez-Mitchell."

Davis lives in New Castle, Indiana. He was scheduled to be sentenced on the rape charge in Ohio in October, according to prosecutors in Preble County, outside Dayton. Attempts to reach his lawyer for comment were unsuccessful Wednesday.

Davis now faces a variety of new charges, including criminal coercion, stalking, harassment, obscenity, receiving stolen property and violating protective orders. He was arrested in Delmont on August 15 after police found him sleeping in a car with a stolen license plate.

Davis told police he was looking for the home of his ex-girlfriend's new boyfriend, the arrest report states. A box cutter and a .45-caliber pistol with several magazines of ammunition was in the car, and a quick check of his license turned up a restraining order against him, according to the report.

The boyfriend's mother told police that Davis had been harassing his ex-girlfriend "for several weeks," the report states.