Support for LAist comes from
We Explain L.A.
Stay Connected

Share This

News

19-Year-Old Hacker Guilty In Miss Teen USA 'Sextortion'

cassidy-wolf.jpg
Miss Teen USA Cassidy Wolf was a victim of the "sextortion" plot (Photo by Ben Gabbe/Getty Images)
LAist relies on your reader support.
Your tax-deductible gift today powers our reporters and keeps us independent. We rely on you, our reader, not paywalls to stay funded because we believe important news and information should be freely accessible to all.

A 19-year-old Temecula teen pleaded guilty on Tuesday for his "sextortion" plot that affected at least a dozen young women, including this year's Miss Teen USA winner.Jared James Abrahams admitted that he obtained nude photos and videos of the women by hacking into their computers with a malicious software that gave him control of their webcams. (Yes, this would be our worst nightmare.) He then emailed the victims, whose ages ranged from their late teens to early 20s, and threatened to post the photos on the Internet if they didn't comply and send him more naked snapshots, according to The Press Enterprise. Court records show that the women who were targeted lived in Southern California, Maryland, Canada, Russia, and Moldova.

Through an agreement with federal prosecutors, Abrahams pleaded guilty to four counts of extortion and one count of hacking. He will be sentenced on March 17, and faces up to 27 to 33 months in custody, the Los Angeles Times reported. However, he will be free until his sentencing on a $50,000 bail; he's been out since he was arrested in late September.

One of the victims was Miss Teen USA, Cassidy Wolf, who was Abraham's classmate at Great Oaks High School for four years before they graduated in 2012. She received the following threat from the hacker:

“Here's what's going to happen!” a person later identified as Abrahams wrote to Wolf, according to the federal complaint. “Either you do one of the things listed below or I upload these pics and a lot more … on all your accounts for everybody to see and your dream of being a model will be transformed into a pornstar.”
Support for LAist comes from

However, according to USA Today, Abraham's attorney, Alan Eisner, said in court that his client has autism, but that there was "no good reason for his activities."