A Champaign County man was sentenced to 25 years in prison for making child pornography by threatening and coercing underage girls.
Aaron Pauly, 45, of St. Paris, requested and received nude images and videos from more than 50 juveniles between October 2014 and August 2017, according the Department of Justice Southern District of Ohio.
Pauly created multiple fake profiles on social media accounts, posing as a 15-year-old boy and a juvenile girl, according to court documents.
He used fake names and photos of other people, including one of his family members, on his profiles.
Pauly would find information about the victims’ families on social media and then use that information to coerce the victims.
“Over the course of nearly three years, Pauly led another life online. He manipulated young girls across the country,” U.S. Attorney Glassman said. “Pauly used threats and other techniques to get the explicit images he wanted: he threatened to ruin the victims’ lives and even threatened to kill them.”
Pauly reportedly threatened to tell victims that he would tell their parents and/or schools about the photos.
“His actions warrant the time in prison he received today,” said Glassman. “And this case is another reminder for everyone to beware those you ‘meet’ online. Social media can be a deceptive and dangerous place.”
One victim told her family about the activity, and the family reported it to law enforcement, according to the DOJ.
“Pauly was caught because someone defied his threats and alerted law enforcement,” Glassman said. “For anyone who finds himself or herself in a similar situation, that’s the right thing to do.”
A federal grand jury indicted Paul of March 13 and he pleaded guilty in July.