Attorney General Moody Secures 13-Year Prison Sentence for 45-Year-Old Man Who Posed as a Teenage Girl to Prey on Minor
TALLAHASSEE, Fla.—Attorney General Ashley Moody’s Office of Statewide Prosecution today secured a 13-year prison sentence for a child sex offender. Shane Penczak, a 45-year-old man, targeted a young boy on Discord by pretending to be a teenage girl. Penczak then enticed the child to send nude photographs and blackmailed the victim with those pictures, coercing him into further egregious sexual acts.
Attorney General Ashley Moody said, “This 45-year-old sex offender posed as a minor girl on online gaming sites to lure young boys into sending nude photographs to then blackmail the victims. As a mother, I am enraged at this offender’s actions, and I implore other parents to monitor their children’s internet usage and speak to them about online safety.”
Penczak targeted the victim through Discord, an online chat room popular in the video game community, and through Roblox. By pretending to be a teenaged girl and using the name “xboxdiamondgirl2683”, Penczak communicated with the child and sent an electronic gift card in exchange for nude photos. After the child obliged, Penczak blackmailed the victim into performing and sending videos of vulgar sexual acts, threatening to release the nude photos.
The law enforcement investigation further revealed contact and other messages with numerous usernames and child sexual abuse images in connection with Penczak’s “xboxdiamondgirl2683” account.
Penczak pled guilty to eight felonies, including lewd or lascivious battery, use of a child in a sexual performance, promotion of a child in a sexual performance, possession of child pornography, use of a computer to solicit illegal acts and transmission of harmful material to a minor. The Honorable Judge Thomas Krug sentenced Penczak to 13 years in prison, followed by 15 years of sex-offender probation to ensure monitoring upon release from prison. Attorney General Moody’s Assistant Statewide Prosecutor Stephanie Bergen prosecuted this case.
The case started with an investigation by the Office of the Camden County Prosecutor in New Jersey and North Port Police Department, both part of the Homeland Security Task Force Unit. Penczak targeted the victim in New Jersey while residing in the North Port area in Florida.
Attorney General Moody offers the following tips to keep children safe from sextortion:
• Be aware of a child’s online activity;
• Require children to make social media accounts private;
• Prevent children from altering or using a fake date of birth to access sites that allow for communication with older individuals;
• Explain that profiles may be altered online to appear as someone else;
• Clarify that once something is sent on the internet, it never goes away; and
• Ensure that children know how to ask for help, even if the situation is uncomfortable.
Child pornography and sextortion may be linked to human trafficking. Attorney General Moody released an Online Safety Toolkit to ensure that parents have all the tools necessary to keep children safe. To view the toolkit, click here.
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