Kokomo Man, Bradley M. Cox Sentenced to 35 Years in Prison for Sextortion Scheme
FORT WAYNE (STL.News) Bradley M. Cox, 30, of Kokomo, Indiana, was sentenced by United States District Court Judge Holly A. Brady on April 21, 2021 after his December 2020 conviction on all counts of a six-count Superseding Indictment charging him with extortion, production and attempted production of child pornography, and receipt of child pornography, announced Acting United States Attorney Bell.
Cox was sentenced to 420 months in prison followed by 20 years of supervised release. Cox was ordered to pay restitution to one of his victims in the total amount of $3,000.00.
According to evidence presented at trial, Cox obtained nude photographs of a woman while pretending to be a modeling recruiter. Cox used a social media account in the woman’s name to communicate with a Rochester, Indiana, man. Cox exchanged the photos of the woman with the Rochester man. Eventually, Cox threatened publicly to release the nude pictures of the Rochester man unless the man gave Cox the login to his social media account. Cox was given access to the Rochester man’s account. Once inside the account, Cox found thousands of nude pictures of women and girls. Cox hacked into another social media account, this time of a high school boy. Cox then sent multiple females the nude pictures of themselves he had found in the Rochester man’s social media account and threatened to publicize their nude photos online unless they sent more sexually explicit pictures and videos. At least two of these were high school girls at the time.
When victims refused Cox’s demands, Cox posted their nude pictures to a pornographic website. Using the hacked social media account, Cox demanded sexually explicit pictures and videos from a pregnant 15-year-old girl, bragging to others online that he had this girl “on the payroll,” which was a reference to her sending him pictures and videos. Cox divulged his scheme to at least one other woman whom he met online and eventually met in person. Other evidence in the case showed that Cox also attempted to recruit others, including at least one high school student, to help him with his scheme.
According to the evidence presented at trial, the FBI’s forensic analysis of Cox’s work computer, the social media accounts, and Cox’s cellular telephone identified Cox as the person using the relevant social media accounts, despite Cox’s use of sophisticated concealment efforts. Cox also admitted much of this conduct during later interviews with the FBI.
“Mr. Cox thought he could hide behind the anonymity of the internet to terrorize his young victims, causing them untold mental anguish, but this sentence is a clear message that those who engage in sextortion will be held accountable for their heinous actions,” said FBI Indianapolis Special Agent in Charge Paul Keenan. “The FBI and our partners are dedicated to rooting out these perpetrators and ensuring they can never impose such terror on their victims and their families ever again.”
This case was investigated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation with assistance from the Fulton County Sheriff’s Department, the Rochester, Indiana Police Department, and the Peru Indiana Police Department. This case was prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorneys Lesley J. Miller Lowery and Sarah E. Nokes.