FORT WAYNE — A Kokomo man who blackmailed girls, women, and a man for sexually explicit pictures and videos was sentenced to 35 years in prison.
Bradley Cox, 30, was sentenced on Wednesday for a December 2020 conviction charging him of extortion, production, attempted production of child pornography, and receipt of child pornography, Acting U.S. Attorney Gary Bell announced.
Cox first obtained nude photos of a woman while pretending to be a modeling recruiter, according to prosecutors. He then created a social media account in the woman's name to contact a man from Rochester.
The 30-year-old exchanged sexually explicit photos with the Rochester man, using the first woman's images.
Cox then publicly threatened the Rochester man to hand over his social media information or he would post the nude pictures he sent.
The Rochester man gave Cox his login information, and once in, Cox was exposed to thousands of nude images of women and girls. He proceeded to hack into a high school boy's social media account and sent some of the images of the girls and women found on the Rochester man's account back to them. At which point he threatened the females that if they didn't send back more nude photos and videos, he would publicize them.
According to prosecutors, at least two of the victims were high school girls at the time of the blackmail. One, a pregnant 15-year-old girl. Evidence shown in court proved that Cox bragged to others that he had the 15-year-old "on the payroll." A reference that she was consistently sending photos and videos of herself.
Some of the victims who refused Cox's demands did have their images posted to pornographic websites.
Despite Cox's use of "sophisticated concealment efforts," the FBI stated, the forensic analysis still identified Cox as the sextortionist. According to the FBI, Cox also confessed to the crimes during the interview process.
“Mr. Cox thought he could hide behind the anonymity of the internet to terrorize his young victims, causing them untold mental anguish, but this sentence is a clear message that those who engage in sextortion will be held accountable for their heinous actions,” said FBI Indianapolis Special Agent in Charge Paul Keenan. “The FBI and our partners are dedicated to rooting out these perpetrators and ensuring they can never impose such terror on their victims and their families ever again.”
District Court Judge Holly A. Brady sentenced Cox to 420 months in prison, followed by 20 years of supervised release. Judge Brady also ordered Cox to pay $3,000 in restitution to one of his victims.