WHITE PLAINS, N.Y. – A 19-year-old volunteer wrestling coach accused of using SnapChat and Instagram to convince a young boy to perform oral sex on him has been charged in federal court with sexual exploitation of a child, according to authorities.
Marcus Stroud, of Nyack was first arrested in connection with the case by Clarkstown police on Feb. 22 . He has been charged by federal authorities with one count of sexual exploitation of a child, according to U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara.
Stroud was involved in programs in Rockland and Westchester as well as Bergen County in New Jersey.
According to a statement from Bharara's office, Stroud admitted to engaging in the sexual act with the boy, but claimed he had done so to prevent someone else from releasing nude photos of the boy on social media. Bharara said the wrestling coach told police he engaged in "computer hacking" to keep the boy's images offline.
“Marcus Stroud is charged with coercing a minor into sexual conduct by posing as a Good Samaritan, while actually preying upon the terrified victim through intimidation and the threat of public embarrassment,” Bharara said. “This office and our law enforcement partners remain committed to investigating and prosecuting those who commit these predatory crimes against children.”
Stroud is accused of connecting with the boy, who was said to be under the age of 14, via the social networks soon after the two met at a Rockland wrestling tournament in December 2015.
Soon after, the boy was contacted by someone on SnapChat by the name of “thechsenpug,” who sent the boy naked pictures of a female while requesting the boy return the messages with naked photos of himself, according to Bharara.
When the boy complied, thechsenpug then told the boy that his photos would be released on social media unless he sent video footage of himself “performing oral sex on a black guy,” according to Bharara.
In January 2016, Stroud contacted the boy via SnapChat to say that he had seen the boy’s naked photos on Instagram before they were later deleted, according to Bharara, who said that Stroud told the boy he was good with computers and could “put an alert” on the nude photos that would notify him if they were published online again.
According to Bharara, the boy explained his predicament to the wrestling coach before Stroud, who is black, offered to let the boy perform the sexual act on him to prevent the photos from being published online.
In February 2016, Stroud, who was then 18, told the boy he had received two alerts about the nude photographs being published online, according to Bharara, who said the wrestling coach then convinced the boy to perform the sexual act on him to prevent further release of the photographs.
The two met later that day, when the boy performed the act while Stroud recorded it, according to Bharara, who said Stroud told the boy he would infect the video with a virus that would allow him to take control of the “female’s” cell phone so he could delete the nude photographs.
The following day, on Feb. 21, the boy received a message from another SnapChat user by the name of “Sweedprincess,” stating that “she” saw the boy’s video and wanted him to make another. According to Bharara, authorities were able to connect the messages to an IP address connected to Stroud’s home.
Soon after receiving the SnapChat messages from the second account, the boy told his parents about what had occurred, according to Bharara, who urged anyone who may have had contact with SnapChat accounts “thechsenpug” or “sweedprincess” to contact the FBI at 914-989-6000 .
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