A federal court today sentenced 23-year-old John Bryan Villegas of Kittery, Maine to two years, nine months in prison for what has become known colloquially as “sextortion.” Villegas pleaded guilty last year to cyber stalking for using sexually explicit material to extort a Dover, New Hampshire woman. The matter was escalated to a federal matter due to the fact that the extortion took place across state lines.
Villegas in January pleaded guilty to a burglary in 2012 in which he stole a laptop, wallet, e-reader, and some panties from the woman’s home. Following the burglary Villegas found sexually explicit photos and videos of the woman on her computer.
Villegas then proceeded to extort the woman for even more sexually explicit material. He emailed the woman, promising to send her photos and videos to friends, family members, and co-workers if she did not provide what he asked. According to a Portsmouth Herald report, the woman instead contacted police, who partnered with the U.S. Secret Service to trace the emails. Police were later able to link Villegas to the burglary using crime scene evidence.
The Villegas case is one of a string of recent sextortion cases to see convictions. Last year 19-year-old Jared James Abrahams pleaded guilty to extorting eight women in the same way, including Miss Teen USA Cassidy Wolf. Abrahams is scheduled to be sentenced next week.