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CyberStalking and Child Pornography – Case Analysis

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On 14th August 2014, a cybercriminal named Michael Martinez was arrested on a charge of multiple charges that he had been committing from October 2013. The suspect was charged with sextortion, cyberstalking, and child exploitation with one minor charge. The arrest of the suspect as “Del Rio Man Arrested on Federal Cyberstalking and Child Pornography Charges” was announced in press release by Justice Department of U.S. The complete details of press conference can be found on the following link https://www.justice.gov/usao-wdtx/pr/del-rio-man-arrested-federal-cyberstalking-and-child-pornography-charges. The suspect belonged to Del Rio, Texas where he had been residing and committing crimes.

It all started in October 2014 when Michael Martinez started emotional harassment of its victims by blackmailing them with their nude pictures (Justice, 14). He used internet and text messages to harass his three victims and threaten them that he will post their nude pictures on the internet and share it with victim’s friends and family members. He wanted the victims to provide more nude images if the victims do not want their nude pictures to be released on the internet or to their family members. He kept on harassing his victims for almost year and it continued until August 2014. Michael Martinez was arrested in August 2014 and FBI raided his apartment on 21st August 2014.

In the raid that was performed by FBI with a warrant most of the digital devices were confiscated as digital evidence that would be used in the further investigation.  During the raid following items were confiscated from his house, 5 cell phones, a router and multiple external hard drives (Taylor, 2015). During the search raid, the suspect’s cell phone was also confiscated that contained dozens of the minor victim that was engaged in the sexually explicit conduct. The suspect was arrested on multiple charges; online sextortion, cyberstalking and child exploitation of three female victims including one minor. If the suspect is proved to be convicted then he might face punishment of ten years and life in federal imprisonment for enticement of a minor, and for a charge of production of child porn, he may face imprisonment for 15 to 30 years. For child pornography, he may face imprisonment from 5 to 20 years and up to 5 years imprisonment of sextortion (Justice, 14). Moreover, the suspect also had child pornography that could lead to imprisonment of up to 10 years in federal prison.

The suspect was arrested on 13th August 2014 where he stayed in federal custody until next hearing that was on 18th August 2014 9:00 am. In the investigation done to date, it was evident that the suspect was not working with any organization or group, but he was doing all this alone. He had no connection to such groups who are involved in cybercrimes that may refer to aforementioned charges on the suspect.

The motivation behind this crime by Michael Martinez was just to harass his victims to gain nude photographs and use them for its sexual desire. The targets of the attack were individuals whose nude pictures were in possession of the suspect who has been using those pictures to blackmail its victims in order to gain more such images from suspects or he will be distributing those images to their family member and friends.   Considering the case of Michael Martinez, it is clear that the confidentiality cybersecurity principle was violated because the images of the victims were their own property and no one had right to use those images for sextortion of blackmail them. The images are also personal property of individuals and that is not meant for being used for such purposes.

The suspect is 26 years old male living in Del Rio that is Western District of Texas. No final decision has been imposed on the case as the investigation is still in process in order to prove the suspect a victim. The case is still being investigated by FBI and prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Ralph Paradiso. There are certain laws that suspect has broken committing the sexual harassment using internet and text messages. He has been committing the crime of child pornography, sexual harassment, blackmailing and threatening the victim and bribing them as well.  There is no sentence declared yet, however, looking at the crimes that he has committed it seems that he will face imprisonment for at least 5 years in federal jail, but it might be extended as well after the final verdict of the court.

References

Carman, A. (2015, 8 20). Texas man arrested for alleged sextortion scheme. Retrieved from SC Magazine: http://www.scmagazine.com/michael-martinez-arrested-in-texas/article/433656/

Justice, U. D. (14, 8 2015). Del Rio Man Arrested on Federal Cyberstalking and Child Pornography Charges. Retrieved from US Department of Justice: https://www.justice.gov/usao-wdtx/pr/del-rio-man-arrested-federal-cyberstalking-and-child-pornography-charges

Office, U. A. (2015, 8 14). Del Rio Man Arrested on Federal Cyberstalking and Child Pornography Charges . Retrieved from FBI: https://www.fbi.gov/sanantonio/press-releases/2015/del-rio-man-arrested-on-federal-cyberstalking-and-child-pornography-charges

Taylor, R. (2015, 8 14). Del Rio man indicted on cyberstalking, child porn charges. Retrieved from KSAT: http://www.ksat.com/news/del-rio-man-indicted-on-cyberstalking-child-porn-charges

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