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Miss Teen USA 'sextortion' suspect pleads guilty

Jared James Abrahams pleaded guilty to hacking women's webcams and blackmailing them into stripping down for him.

By Gabrielle Levy
Miss Teen USA Cassidy Wolf was one of the victims of "sextortionist" Jared James Abrahams. UPI/John Angelillo | <a href="/News_Photos/lp/5e633f37f58ef89ad0c850ea86e46b6e/" target="_blank">License Photo</a>
Miss Teen USA Cassidy Wolf was one of the victims of "sextortionist" Jared James Abrahams. UPI/John Angelillo | License Photo

Nov. 12 (UPI) -- The man who hacked into the personal computers of a number of women, -- including Miss Teen USA Cassidy Wolf -- in an effort to extort them, pleaded guilty to four federal charges Tuesday.

Jared James Abrahams of Temecula, Calif., admitted to hacking into women's webcams and capturing naked images, then trying to blackmail them. He pleaded guilty to four charges involving victims from their late teens to early 20s, including unauthorized access of a computer and extortion.

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“When Jared was first approached by law enforcement he gave them a full and complete admission … and he pleaded guilty,” said his attorney, Alan Eisner. “There is no good reason for his activities. These were intrusions with real victims. The fact of the matter is he has autism, he is socially disconnected. We are not looking to blame his conduct on that.”

Abrahams, 19, is a college freshman studying computer science, and said he infected the computers of the women with a malware allowing him to control the computers' cameras. He then blackmailed the women by threatening to release the images in order to obtain more nude images or graphic displays through the victims' webcams.

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One of the women, Cassidy Wolf, knew Abrahams. He is said to have changed her Twitter picture to a half-naked photo and sent her two more images taken from inside her home. Wolf notified authorities, leading the FBI to Abrahams in March.

After seizing Abrahams' computers, investigators found he had hacked computers in Southern California, Maryland, Ireland, Canada, Russia and Moldova. He admitted to accessing between 100 and 150 computers.

Abrahams faces 27 to 33 months in federal prison.

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Sources: [Los Angeles Times] [KMIR -- Palm Springs]

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