US Jails Sextortionist for 35 Years

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A 21-year-old convicted sex offender from Minnesota who used social media and chat platforms to sextort more than 40 underage girls has been jailed for 35 years.

Dylan Matthew Deling, who grew up in Fairmont, was previously convicted in Nicollet County in March 2018 of possessing child sexual abuse images. He was 19 years old 

An investigation was launched into his activities when a Dropbox employee discovered an account containing sexually explicit images of children as young as 2 years old and reported it to the police. Law enforcement officers were able to trace the account back to Deling.

On February 22, 2019, Deling was indicted on new charges of extortion and child sexual abuse image possession. According to the indictment, on May 14, 2018, Deling persuaded, induced, and coerced a minor victim to engage in sexually explicit conduct so he could video it. 

“As the cyber-threat landscape continues to evolve, sextortion crimes are becoming more prevalent through the use of social media platforms and messaging apps,” said US Attorney Erica MacDonald, speaking at the time of Deling's 2019 indictment. 

“These types of cases cause very real harm and can have a devastating impact, especially on young victims. Teachers, parents, and students alike need to be aware of this issue, know how to defend against online predators, and be vigilant in reporting these crimes.”

On July 18, 2019, Deling pleaded guilty to producing child sexual abuse images and extortion between October 2017 and August 2, 2018. 

Deling confessed to using social media and chat platforms, including Snapchat, Facebook, Instagram, Kik, and Skype, as well as text messages to extort sexually explicit images from more than 40 minor girls aged between 11 and 17. 

Victims were threatened with rape and told violence would be wreaked upon them and their loved ones if they did not comply with Deling's demands. 

To underscore his threats, Deling sent screenshots of maps of the girls’ residences, family members’ contact information, and other identifying information to the girls, as well as posted the information online.

Yesterday, Deling was sentenced to 420 months in prison and 30 years of supervised release.

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