Man Pleads Guilty To Exploiting 25 Girls For Nude Photos: REPORT

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Mariane Angela Contributor
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A man from Columbus pleaded guilty Tuesday to charges in a widespread sexual exploitation and extortion case, the Columbus Dispatch reported.

Lorenzo A. Winfield, 22, has signed a plea deal to charges involving the sexual exploitation of minors, possession of child pornography and using interstate communication for extortion, according to the Columbus Dispatch. As part of his plea agreement, he faces a prison sentence ranging from 23 to 27 years, as confirmed by the office of U.S. Attorney Kenneth L. Parker.

The case, stretching from 2016 to 2021, reveals a pattern of predatory behavior by Winfield, Columbus Dispatch reported. Federal prosecutors have uncovered that many of his victims were students from the Arts and College Preparatory Academy in Columbus, an institution he once attended. His actions earned him the nickname “ACPA Hacker.” (RELATED: Lincoln Project Denounces Co-Founder As Predator, Liar, And Abuser)

Winfield would hack into the social media accounts of his victims and utilize the photos to coerce them, the outlet noted. He threatened to distribute these photos to their friends and family, pressuring the girls to send more explicit images.

Winfield targeted victims through various platforms, including Discord, Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat, Skype, and Google Hangouts. Beyond Columbus, Winfield’s predatory behavior reached victims in other states. The FBI’s Washington Field Office linked him to similar crimes in Fairfax and Prince William counties in Virginia, where he exploited at least four victims.

One case involved an 11-year-old girl from Virginia. Winfield disseminated her photos to her middle and high school peers. He threatened harm to the victim’s family unless she provided sexually explicit photos and videos. This continued exploitation and extortion persisted until he was caught and apprehended, as stated by prosecutors.