Nude photo threats bring 18-month sentence
A P.E.I. man is going to jail for 18 months after being found guilty of a variety of schemes to lure girls and young women into sending him nude photos of themselves.
Claude Michel Arsenault, 19 of Mount Carmel, pleaded guilty to internet luring, possession of child pornography, extortion and impersonating a police officer. His crimes involved eight victims: two were 18, three were 15 and the other three were 12 years old.
A Summerside court heard the details during a sentencing hearing on Tuesday.
Arsenault created more than 15 different identities and used a number of approaches to lure girls and young women into sending him nude images. He sent emails and chatted online with girls and women he knew and some he pretended to know.
Court heard that Arsenault told some girls he was bored and asked them to pose nude online with their web cameras. He captured and saved images of them on his computer.
With other girls he manipulated pictures, putting their faces on naked bodies, and threatened to show them to their parents or post them on the internet if the girls didn't send him genuine nude photos of themselves.
Arsenault also posed as a police officer, saying he was investigating an internet pornography case.
"The email was to the effect that, 'I'm an officer investigating a matter, we need to get photos of your face and your breasts for our continued investigation. We want you to return them imemdiately and if you don't, then we'll get a warrant and bring you in to the station,'" said John Diamond, the Crown attorney.
In the face of these threats, some of the girls and women did expose themselves online or send Arsenault photos. Others went to the police.
When investigators checked Arsenault's computer they found more than 160,000 pornographic photos, videos and chats.
A report prepared for the court said Arsenault suffers from a lack of self-confidence.
The judge accepted a joint recommendation from the Crown and the defence and sentenced Arsenault to 18 months in jail and three years probation. His name will be on the national sex-offender registry for 20 years.
Arsenault is not allowed contact with children for five years and he is also not allowed to have contact with any his victims.