- Associated Press - Friday, June 13, 2014

CHEYENNE, Wyo. (AP) - A 13-year-old Laramie County girl turned to her parents for help after a stranger she encountered on the Internet in recent weeks demanded she produce sexually explicit videos of herself and other children, court documents say.

The subsequent investigation by Wyoming’s Internet Crimes against Children Task Force (ICAC) and local law enforcement led to federal charges against Christopher J. Beets, 23, of Santa Rosa, California.

A federal criminal complaint unsealed Friday in Cheyenne charges Beets with attempted production of child pornography and attempted online enticement of a child.

Federal prosecutor Jim Anderson in Cheyenne said Beets was arrested in Santa Rosa. Anderson said his office plans to bring Beets to Wyoming for prosecution.

Court records don’t reflect that Beets has an attorney yet and don’t show that he has filed any response to the charges.

“This case again reminds us that the Internet is a very dangerous place for children and adolescents to correspond with individuals that they know nothing about,” Anderson said Friday. “Hopefully this guy will be brought back here, and we’ll see what happens then.”

A criminal complaint and supporting sworn statement from an officer of the Wyoming ICAC team alleges that Beets first made contact with the girl in May.

The officer’s statement makes the following allegations:

- Without revealing his identity, Beets first asked the girl for nude photos of herself. He then pressured her to make explicit videos of herself. With those in hand, it alleges he pressured her to make videos with other children, threatening to distribute the material he already had received if she refused.

- The girl became fearful of the person demanding the videos and alerted her parents that she had been communicating with a man about sexually explicit matters. The girl’s parents contacted the Laramie County Sheriff’s Office, which in turn alerted the ICAC team.

- An ICAC agent assumed the girl’s identity and continued to communicate with Beets. In late May, Beets said he wanted to come to Colorado, where he believed the girl was living, and have sex with her and friends.

- The ICAC team traced computer addresses and phone-company records to match communications the girl received with accounts associated with Beets.

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