FARGO – A Wahpeton man who used online threats to force young girls to send him sexually explicit photos and videos was sentenced in federal court here on Tuesday to 32 years in prison, the U.S. Attorney’s Office said.
Dustin Coleman, 22, is believed to be the first person in North Dakota sentenced for “sextortion.” In 2013, he used mobile messaging apps and Facebook to pressure underage girls to create and send him sexual images of themselves, U.S. Attorney Timothy Purdon said in a statement. Coleman would continue to ask for more, and increasingly graphic, images. He threatened to turn over the images to the family and friends of his victims if they did not comply.
Coleman’s sentence followed his guilty plea in U.S. District Court to three counts of producing child pornography, two counts of extortion and three counts of possession of child pornography.
Law enforcement caught Coleman after a former roommate found child pornography on his phone and brought the evidence to Wahpeton police, the statement said. The discovery led authorities to a trove of hundreds of sexually explicit images and online chat logs.
In one chat log, a 13-year-old girl told Coleman she intended to kill herself rather than provide him with more sexual material, the statement said. Authorities also found evidence that Coleman threatened the prepubescent sister of an underage girl with sexual violence if she did not do what he asked.