Man detained for blackmailing two teenagers from Tarragona via internet
Suspect threatened to release naked pictures of girls if not sent funds27 March 2008
MADRID - A Peruvian man has been arrested on blackmail and extortion charges after he spent a year terrorising two teenaged sisters from Tarragona by threatening to make public compromising pictures of the girls if they did not send him money. The elder sister, who is 16, paid the 29-year-old hundreds of euros with her savings and money borrowed from friends. The man, Javier Mendoza Navarro, was arrested on 19 March in Peru.
Mendoza had placed a profile along with his photo on the contacts website sexyono.com, which is where he made contact with the elder sister. He was also using several other social networking websites, such as hi5.com, live.com, netlog.com and tagged.com.
The 16-year-old sister began chatting with Mendoza, telling him that she was actually 18. He managed to seduce her from afar, and the pair played at being a couple online. He gradually convinced her to pose for him naked in front of her webcam, recording the images without her consent. After telling her he had financial problems and asking her to send him funds, he then asked for more money, threatening to post the photos of her in the nude on the internet if she didn't comply.
Mendoza was also in contact with the girl's 12-year-old sister, and managed to obtain several hundred euros from the pair. When they were unable to raise any more cash, the girls went to their parents for help.
The family turned to a private detective agency that specialises in new technologies, Incide. By accessing the family's computer, the company was able to discover many of Mendoza's details.
"The girls were and still are terrorised by the thought of the images being sent out over the internet to all of their friends," says Abraham Pasamar, director of Incide. "If that had happened, they would have had to change school and maybe even city. They were absolutely petrified that it would destroy their lives. Their parents were very brave," he says of their decision to continue paying the conman, handing over as much as EUR 4,700 while the police began their investigations.
The Spanish authorities closed the net on Mendoza toward the end of 2007 and asked for help from their Peruvian counterparts, who subsequently arrested him in the city of Chiclayo.
[Copyright El Pais / JESÚS DUVA 2008]