Georgia man accused of trying to sexually extort 3 University of Alabama students

Micheal Antonio Downing

Credit: Tuscaloosa County Jail

Credit: Tuscaloosa County Jail

Micheal Antonio Downing

A 22-year-old man from Georgia faces four felonies after he allegedly threatened to distribute nude photos of three University of Alabama students, the Tuscaloosa News reported.

Micheal Antonio Downing, who is from Grovetown in Columbia County near Augusta, contacted the students through Instagram messages, offering either $350 or $450 to talk with him on FaceTime, university police told the newspaper. All three agreed, but once the video chats were underway, he allegedly offered them more money to expose themselves and they complied.

The women told police he took screenshots from the video chat and later messaged them from a separate account, threatening to distribute the photos to their friends and family if they didn’t have sex with him, the newspaper reported.

Two of the women called police after the alleged threat, while the third met him in a parking deck on the university’s campus, the newspaper reported. After that encounter, Downing allegedly deleted three photos of the woman, but he threatened to distribute other pictures if she didn’t meet him again, prompting her to also call police.

Downing allegedly admitted to an investigator that the women’s accusations were true, the newspaper reported. He was charged with two counts of attempted sexual extortion, one count of sexual extortion and one count of second-degree human trafficking.

Under Alabama law, second-degree human trafficking is described as when "a person knowingly benefits financially or by receiving anything of value from participation in a venture or engagement for the purpose of sexual servitude or labor servitude."

Downing was last enrolled as an Alabama student in 2018, the newspaper reported.

He waived his preliminary hearing scheduled for Friday, meaning his case will now go before a grand jury.

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