A 25-year-old Georgia man has been sentenced to 40 years in prison after being convicted of producing and distributing child pornography.
Benjamin Jenkins was convicted in January for contacting underage girls as young as 13 by pretending to be someone else. He would coax the girls into providing him sexually suggestive photos of themselves. Once she sent a photo, Jenkins would then threaten to post the photos online or send them to her friends and family if she did not send him additional photos, the Justice Department said in a press release on Tuesday. Jenkins victimized as many as 150 girls in this way.
“Jenkins exploited as many as 150 girls for his perverse satisfaction, causing unbelievable trauma to these children and their families,” said U.S. Attorney Byung J. Pak. “The sheer degradation and depravity that Jenkins forced his victims to endure is unimaginable. This sentence will hopefully help these courageous victims and their families heal.”
Jenkins was convicted on nine counts of producing child pornography and three counts of distributing child pornography.
The Justice Department described Jenkins as a “prolific sextortionist” and explained that he would instruct the girls on how to pose in subsequent photos and what body parts they should show him, as well as “what objects to insert into their genitals and anus.”
“If a girl did not provide him with a photo or video quickly enough, he would start a countdown clock: the girl had a certain amount of time to provide him with an image before he started posting her other images online. Jenkins further humiliated his victims by forcing them to send him videos showing them drinking their own urine or licking toilets. He also humiliated many of his victims by making them watch him masturbate,” the Justice Department said.
Some girls blocked Jenkins online, and he would retaliate by following through on his threats. He would send the photos to the girls’ parents and friends, demanding she start sending pictures again. He would also post the photos online with the victim’s contact information, calling on other men to contact the girls for photos or for sex.
Jenkins was sentenced to 40 years in prison and a lifetime of supervision after he is released. He will also be required to register as a sex offender.
“No sentence will ever bring back the innocence that this monster stole from hundreds of girls,” said acting Special Agent in Charge Robert Hammer, who oversees Homeland Security Investigations operations in Georgia and Alabama. “These victims were trapped in a vicious cycle from which they could not escape. We will continue to go after these predators while educating our youth about the dangers of sextortion.”
Jenkins’ case was part of the Justice Department’s Project Safe Childhood, which was launched in 2006 to help protect children from online exploitation and abuse.
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