Canton man charged with extorting teens for pornographic images

Canton man charged with extorting teens for pornographic images

A 22-year-old Canton man who allegedly preyed on teenage girls and threatened to post compromising images of them on the Internet has been arraigned on multiple charges, federal authorities said Tuesday.

A Feb. 19 indictment charges Destin Whitmore, 22, of Canton, with five counts of extortion, one count of enticing a minor to engage in sexual activity, three counts of distribution of child pornography and five counts of possession of child pornography.

Authorities were led to Whitmore after an Arizona teen reported in April 2012 that someone using the alias Ralph Jenkins contacted her using a popular social media website, according to a statement from the office of United States Attorney Sally Quillian Yates.

Jenkins, who authorities later determined to be Whitmore, allegedly sent the girl compromising images of herself and threatened to send those images to friends and family if she did not immediately create more images for him, Yates’ office said.

The Arizona teen was one of “numerous girls” Whitmore allegedly extorted using multiple social media accounts, including his own, authorities said. He had personal relationships with many of the girls or communicated with them using web cameras, according to the statement.

“This is a stark reminder,” Yates said, “of the need for parents to talk with their children about Internet safety.”

Whitmore is in federal custody, authorities said.

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