Bradenton man uses Snapchat to blackmail teens, cops say

October 9, 2019 in Florida

A 20-year-old Manatee County man is facing 14 felony charges, including extortion, after he used multiple Snapchat accounts to lure teenage girls into sending him sexually explicit photos, according to the Manatee County Sheriff’s Office.

Detectives say Bailey Terry would get the girls to send him the first revealing photo and then threaten to send the image to friends and family if they didn’t continue to send him more sexually explicit images.

According to the arrest warrant affidavit, the investigation began when detectives received a tip from the Ventura County Sheriff’s Office in California that a 16-year-old girl had reported the threats.

Detectives say Terry set up at least four different accounts pretending to be a 17-year-old boy.

The investigation in Manatee County began one year ago and computer records detailing Terry’s online accounts were made available in February, according to the arrest warrant affidavit.

The records, which included photographs and transcripts of online chats, revealed that there were several other potential victims that Terry was in contact with. He was trying to hide the images by sending them from one account to the other, detectives say.

Detectives served a search warrant on Bailey’s residence in May. After interviewing Terry, he admitted that he used the accounts to obtain nude images of girls between the ages of 13 and 17 and had been collecting the nude pictures and videos “for a few years,” according to the arrest report.

Terry would send nude pictures back to the girls but not of himself, detectives say.

According to the report, Terry admitted to threatening the victims and that he knew they were underage.

Terry is charged with with transmission of material harmful to minors, promoting the sexual performance of a child and use of a computer to seduce/solicit/entice a child to commit a sex act.

On top of those charges, as well as the extortion charge, Terry was additionally charged with 10 counts of possession of child pornography.

Terry wasn’t immediately arrested after the May interview as the investigation continued. Investigators obtained an arrest warrant on Sept. 24 and he was arrested on Oct. 3. He was released from the Manatee County jail two days later posting $19,500 in bonds.

Breaking News/Real Time Reporter Mark Young began his career in 1996 and has been with the Bradenton Herald since 2014. He has won more than a dozen awards over the years, including the coveted Lucy Morgan Award for In-Depth Reporting from the Florida Press Club and for beat reporting from the Society for Professional Journalists to name a few. His reporting experience is as diverse as the communities he covers.

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