- Associated Press - Monday, September 21, 2015

TRENTON, N.J. (AP) - A man stalked girls online and blackmailed them into sending him sexually explicit photos or exposing themselves on a webcam, state authorities said Monday.

Michael Van Culin, of Monroeville, has been indicted on multiple counts, including extortion and manufacturing child pornography.

Authorities said the 31-year-old Van Culin obtained sexually explicit photos or videos of four girls, ages 14 to 17. He tried to blackmail a fifth girl into sending him sexually explicit photos, but she didn’t comply, authorities said.

Van Culin usually presented himself as a teenage boy online, authorities said, and would contact and befriend teen girls on social media sites or in chatrooms. Authorities said he obtained nude photos of the victims or sensitive personal information about them, then threatened to release the photos or information to their family and friends if they did not meet his demands.

Van Culin ordered the girls to send him explicit photos of themselves or strip on a webcam and engage in sexual conduct, which he recorded, authorities said. The victims lived in Canada, Arizona, Philadelphia, Maryland and Seattle, authorities said.

A grand jury indicted Van Culin on Friday. He could face several decades in prison if convicted on all counts. It was not known Monday if he had retained an attorney.

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