‘Parents’ worst nightmare': How NJ man blackmailed girl, 16, into sending nude pics
A Salem County man is going to prison after he blackmailed a Canadian girl into stripping naked online for him.
Michael Van Culin, 32, of Upper Pittsgrove, was sentenced by a federal judge Friday to 10 years in prison for manufacturing child pornography. He'll be eligible for parole in 8½ years.
Van Culin admitted he recorded the 16-year-old on her webcam. Prosecutors say he had chatted online with her, eliciting personal information that he then used to hack into her email account and get other personal information. Van Culin then threatened to expose personal information about her to her family.
Prosecutors say he had stalked three other girls and coerced them into sending explicit photos of themselves.
Last year after his arrest, state officials called Van Culin "a parent’s worst nightmare."
“The use of social media, apps and other platforms as grooming tools by child sexual predators represents a growing threat,” said Kevin Kelly, acting special agent in charge of the Newark office of the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s Homeland Security Investigations, said last year.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.
Sergio Bichao is deputy digital editor at New Jersey 101.5. Send him news tips: Call 609-438-1015 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.