DETROIT (CBSNewYork/AP) — Federal prosecutors in Detroit have charged a Long Island man, after 15 young women said he threatened to release nude or unflattering photos of them unless they sent some more to him.
Adam Savader, 21, was charged in a criminal complaint in the Eastern District of Michigan with Internet extortion and cyberstalking.
Savader is a political science student at SUNY Farmingdale, and a former campaign intern for GOP vice presidential candidate Paul Ryan, according to a New York Daily News report.
On his Twitter account, which has more than 17,000 followers, he identifies himself as an “American patriot, Reagan Republican, formerly (Ryan’s) sole intern on the Mitt Romney campaign and a Newt Gingrich campaign staffer.” He has posted photos of himself Facebook with Ryan, Romney and Gingrich, the newspaper reported.
The case was first to the attention of the FBI by police in Ann Arbor, Mich. Authorities ultimately identified 15 victims in Michigan; Long Island; and Washington, D.C. Some of them attended high school or college with him, prosecutors said.
Authorities said between May 2012 and this past February, Savader sent anonymous text messages using Google Voice numbers to the women, saying he had nude photographs of the women and threatening to distribute them to the women’s friends and family members unless they sent him some more photos.
One young woman complained to police in Michigan last September, after she received threatening text messages from an unknown person calling himself “John Smith,” the criminal complaint said. One of the text messages sent the woman to the photo-sharing site Photobucket, where she saw naked pictures of herself that she had stored in a private folder and never shared, prosecutors said.
Savader as “John Smith” told the woman he would send the photos to her parents if she did not send him more naked photos, and asked her numerous personal and inappropriate questions, prosecutors said. He made similar threats repeatedly to the woman from multiple Google Voice numbers, prosecutors said.
A second young woman was contacted by Savader around the same time, this time identifying himself as “the person with the nude pics of your mom,” prosecutors said. He told the victim he would send the photo to others, including the woman’s father, prosecutors said.
A third woman also heard from Savader in September, this time as “the person with the nude photos of you,” prosecutors said. He threatened to send nude pictures of her to the Republican National Committee, her parents and her sorority if she did not send more nude photos of herself, prosecutors said.
The young woman said she received over 80 text messages from Savader, continuing through the end of 2012, prosecutors said.
Savader contacted several other victims and threatened them similarly, prosecutors said. Some had, in fact, taken nude photos that they had not shared with anyone other than their boyfriends, while others had never taken any nude photos of themselves at all, prosecutors said. In one case, Savader tried to blackmail a young woman with a picture of her kissing her younger sister at a high school party when she was 16 – a photo that she never knew about, prosecutors said.
Savader also allegedly made numerous sexually explicit comments to his victims, prosecutors said.
The language that Savader allegedly used with one victim was: “I swear on all that is holy. If you f**k with me again I will send these to your parents. I have no problem sending them to ur (sic) parents, friends and sorority sisters unless you cooperate by answering me.”
Savader was in custody after appearing Tuesday in federal court on Long Island.
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