23-Year-Old Man Charged with Sextorting Teens

By Mario Sevilla

Wed Apr 30th, 2014 8:49pm America/Los_Angeles

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LOS ANGELES (AP) — A Southern California man who allegedly extorted nude photos from fans of Justin Bieber has been charged with producing child pornography.

Twenty-three-year-old Jeremy Sears of Moorpark was arrested Wednesday on two felony charges. He faces at least 15 years in federal prison if convicted.

Federal prosecutors claim Sears targeted several dozen teens, many of them active in social networking groups for fans of Bieber and the group One Direction.

Authorities say he pretended to be a teen to in fake profiles. They say he would then obtain explicit photos and videos by starting an online romance or threatening a teen.

Authorities claim Sears posted some images publicly — in one case putting a girl’s nude photos on her Facebook profile.

Sears’ public defender, Samuel Josephs, declined to comment.

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