A serial abuser who lured women into relationships and blackmailed them has been sentenced to 12½ years in prison.

Shannon Bradford Dixon pleaded guilty to 11 charges in an Edmonton courtroom Friday morning, including sexual assault, extortion and bestiality. He will serve 10½ years in prison, after the judge gave him credit for 25 months of pretrial custody.

Dixon lured seven women across the province into relationships and then blackmailed them.

Several of the victims spoke in court, telling the judge that Dixon would take compromising photos of them and then threaten to post the intimate pictures online unless he was paid money.

In one case, he allegedly sent an intimate photo to a victim’s employer.

RCMP Cpl. Colette Zazulak said the victims in the case had only one thing in common — they were lonely.

"One explained to me that she met him on Christmas Eve, on the internet, while her kids were at their Dad’s, with a glass of wine, just wishing she had her children with her," she said.

"So what we see here is a real similiarity where Mr. Dixon exploited their vulnerability and their loneliness."

One victim, who cannot be identified under a publication ban, met Dixon through a dating website. She came forward to police because she didn't want others to go through what she endured.

"I think those things will stay with me forever," she said.

"I don't think he realizes the damage that he has done to all of us."