FORT WAYNE–Bradley M. Cox, 30, of Kokomo, Indiana, was convicted, late yesterday, on all counts of a six-count Superseding Indictment charging him with extortion, production and attempted production of child pornography, and receipt of child pornography, announced United States Attorney Thomas L. Kirsch II.
Sentencing is scheduled for March 18, 2021.
According to evidence presented at trial, Cox, while pretending to be a woman, began communicating on social media with a Rochester, Indiana, man. With nude pictures he had gotten of females, Cox and the Rochester man began to exchange nude pictures. Eventually, Cox threatened publicly to release the nude pictures of the Rochester man unless the man gave Cox the login to his social media account. Once inside the Rochester man’s account, Cox found the nude pictures of several thousand women and girls. Using another account hacked by Cox and belonging to a high school boy, Cox then sent multiple females nude pictures of themselves, threatening to publicize these pictures online if they did not send more sexually explicit pictures and videos. At least two of these were high school girls at the time.
When one of the victims refused Cox’s demands, Cox posted her nude pictures to a pornographic website. Using the hacked social media account, Cox demanded sexually explicit pictures and videos from a pregnant 15-year-old girl, bragging to others online that he had this girl “on the payroll,” which was a reference to her sending him pictures and videos. Cox divulged his scheme to at least one other women that he met online and eventually met in person.
Through forensic analysis of Cox’s work computer and cellular telephone, the Federal Bureau of Investigation identified Cox as the person using the relevant social media accounts, despite Cox’s use of sophisticated concealment efforts. Cox also admitted much of this conduct during later interviews with the FBI.
“Terrorizing young victims through social media and using the anonymity of the internet to hide will never be tolerated by the FBI. This case highlights the perseverance and dedication of our agents and law enforcement partners,” said FBI Indianapolis Special Agent in Charge Paul Keenan. “Make no mistake, if you engage in sextortion, we will continue to investigate until we uncover your identity and hold you accountable for the mental anguish and terror you have imposed on your victims and their families.”
This case was investigated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation with assistance from the Fulton County Police Department, the Rochester, Indiana Police Department, and the Peru Indiana Police Department. This case was prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorneys Lesley J. Miller Lowery and Sarah E. Nokes.