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FBI Looks to Help Victims in International ‘Sextortion' Case

Victims have been identified in 26 states across the U.S., and in multiple cities including Los Angeles.

In a national campaign announced Tuesday, the FBI is seeking information in order to identify and help victims subjected to "sextortion" by a convicted online predator.

Lucas Michael Chansler, 31, was sentenced to 105 years in federal prison after he pleaded to nine counts of producing child pornography last August.

According to court documents, 109 nine victims have been identified as victims in Chansler's scheme that targeted 350 minors in the U.S., Canada, and the United Kingdom from 2007 to Jan. 2010.

Victims have been identified in 26 states across the U.S., and in multiple cities, including Los Angeles.

Ashley Reynolds became one of those victims in 2008 when she was 14-years-old.

Chansler contacted Reynolds with the online persona of a teenage boy, claiming to have embarrassing sexual pictures of her, according to the FBI.

He said if she didn't send him a topless photograph of herself, he would send the embarrassing pictures to her MySpace friends.

Reynolds sent him the photo and didn't hear from him again until the summer of 2009, when Chansler messaged Reynolds again threatening to post the topless image of her online if she didn't send him more explicit images.

When she ignored him, Chansler texted her cellphone after he presumably hacked into her social media accounts to get it, according to the FBI. 

Reynolds complied with Chansler for the next few months until her mother discovered explicit images on Reynolds's computer, and reported the case to the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children.

The NCMEC and the FBI were able to use one of Chansler's online accounts to identify him and locate his home in Jacksonville, Florida.

They discovered he had hundreds of folders on his computer containing photos and videos of his victims. 

The FBI has identified and contacted 109 of those victims thus far, but are working to identify the remaining victims through the national campaign.

Special Agent Larry Meyer is a veteran FBI agent in the Jacksonville Division who has worked on the case.

“It’s important that we find these girls so that they don’t have to be looking over their shoulder, wondering if this guy is still out there and is he looking for them and is he going to be coming back,” Meyer said.

Reynolds, who is now 20-years-old, said "this ended for me," but for the estimated 250 unidentified victims, "this never ended for them."

People with information that may help identify additional victims, or who believe they may have been victimized by Chansler are encouraged to complete the FBI's confidential questionnaire here, or to send a confidential email to fbi.victimsassistance@ic.fbi.gov.

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