Authorities fear that an Indiana man arrested on a single count of sexual exploitation of children might figure in a nationwide case of Internet sex crime with perhaps hundreds of young victims. If true, says the Indianapolis Star, it would rank as one of the broadest cases of “sextortion” on record, federal officials say. The FBI and U.S. attorney’s office released a police booking mug shot of Richard Leon Finkbiner, hoping his photo can generate leads that will allow them to identify children pictured in thousands of sexually explicit videos that authorities say they found on Finkbiner’s computer.
Finkbiner, 39, was arrested at his Brazil, In., home. Federal officials were led to Finkbiner through complaints from two 14-year-old boys, who went to police in their home states of Michigan and Maryland saying they were victims of what authorities call “sextortion.” Sextortion is the blackmailing of people by threatening to publicly disclose sexually explicit photos of them. Finkbiner was arrested Friday. After being shown a photo of one of the boys by police, Finkbiner told authorities “he had induced or coerced the production of videos and images of so many people engaged in sexually explicit conduct that he could not readily recognize every individual.” The FBI says he confessed to the Internet sexual exploitation of “at least 100 individuals.”