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Indiana man to say he's guilty in child porn

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By The Associated Press
Thursday, Jan. 31, 2013, 6:18 p.m.
 

INDIANAPOLIS — An Indiana man has agreed to plead guilty to charges alleging that he tricked more than a dozen teenagers into stripping or performing sexual acts for him via webcam and then used recordings of those sessions to coerce them into making even more explicit videos.

Richard Finkbiner, who lives in the western Indiana community of Brazil, signed an agreement filed on Wednesday in federal court in Terre Haute to plead guilty to child exploitation, extortion and possession of child pornography in exchange for a recommended sentence of 30 to 50 years in prison.

According to prosecutors, Finkbiner met most or all of his victims on a video chat website, omegle.com, which offers users random, anonymous one-on-one chats with strangers. The site says it is not for use by children younger than 13 or teens younger than 18 who don't have the permission of a parent or guardian.

Prosecutors say the teens thought they were looking at live images of people — including a couple, in at least one instance — who were acting sexually and encouraging the teens to do the same, but the images were actually recordings Finkbiner was showing them. He would later contact the teens again and threaten to upload the explicit images he recorded of them to porn websites unless they made more videos for his private use, prosecutors say.

The alleged victims ranged in age from 12 to 16, and prosecutors say they lived in nine states — Indiana, West Virginia, Iowa, Wisconsin, Ohio, New York, Michigan, Illinois and Colorado.

During questioning by FBI agents, Finkbiner estimated that he had coerced at least 100 young people into making explicit videos, according to court documents.

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