The FBI announced the arrest of a man for “Sextortion” of young girls, where he manipulated them to send him revealing photos of themselves and then threatened them with humiliation or physical harm if they did not comply with his demands of more revealing photos of an increasing sexual nature.
— FBI (@FBI) August 10, 2020
“Orlando, Florida – U.S. District Judge Carlos E. Mendoza today sentenced Justin Richard Testani (30, Orange City) to 60 years in federal prison for child sexual exploitation. Testani had pleaded guilty on February 6, 2020.
According to court documents and evidence presented during the sentencing hearing, for more than a year, Testani contacted multiple young girls (usually between the ages of 10 and 13) through Instagram and Snapchat. Testani frequently posed as a young, teenage girl who modeled for a prominent teen lingerie brand. Using that disguise, Testani convinced numerous victims to send him revealing photographs of themselves.
After the victims sent such photographs, Testani often threatened to disseminate the photos or publicly humiliate the victims. At other times, Testani threatened to kidnap, rape, and/or kill the victims and their family members. He issued these threats to coerce victims into creating and sending him more images and videos of themselves engaged in sexually explicit conduct.
Testani also used threats to coerce certain victims into giving him the passwords to their social media accounts. After gaining those passwords, Testani often took over the accounts and used those platforms to contact and exploit the victims’ friends.
The investigation revealed that Testani reached out to hundreds of young girls across the United States between December 2017 and January 2019.
“This case is a prime example of how a child can be victimized even in the safety of their own home,” said Michael McPherson, Special Agent in Charge of the FBI Tampa Division. “Parents, please talk to your children about the dangers of the internet and social media and make it clear to them they are not to blame if they fall victim to a predator.
The FBI, along with our law enforcement partners are dedicated to ensuring children are protected from online predators. The 60-year sentence in this case is proof of that commitment.”
This case was investigated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the Sanford Police Department, and the Trussville (Alabama) Police Department. It was prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Emily C. L. Chang.
This case was brought as part of Project Safe Childhood, a nationwide initiative launched in May 2006 by the Department of Justice to combat the growing epidemic of child sexual exploitation and abuse. Led by United States Attorneys’ Offices and the Criminal Division’s Child Exploitation and Obscenity Section (CEOS), Project Safe Childhood marshals federal, state, and local resources to locate, apprehend, and prosecute individuals who sexually exploit children, and to identify and rescue victims. For more information about Project Safe Childhood, please visit www.justice.gov/psc.”