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‘Sextortion’ case likely record

Hoosier accused of creating up to 100 teen videos

Indianapolis Star
From left, Bob Holley, FBI special agent in charge; U.S. Attorney Joe Hogsett; and Assistant U.S. Attorney Brant Cook announce the arrest of Richard Leon Finkbiner, 39, of Brazil, Ind.

– Investigators are trying to identify hundreds of potential victims whose images were found on the computer of an Indiana man charged with coercing two teenage boys into performing online sex acts for him by threatening to post on gay porn sites compromising videos he secretly made of them.

U.S. Attorney Joe Hogsett said during a Monday news conference that the “sextortion” case against Richard Leon Finkbiner could become the largest of its kind in the U.S. to date.

Finkbiner, 39, was arrested Friday at his home in the Clay County community of Brazil and faces two preliminary counts of sexually exploiting a child. He remained in custody Monday and has a detention hearing scheduled for Wednesday.

During questioning by FBI agents, Finkbiner estimated that he had coerced at least 100 young people into making explicit videos, according to documents filed in U.S. District Court in Terre Haute.

Hogsett said investigators found “thousands” of explicit images on Finkbiner’s hard drive, mostly of teenage boys.

“We are fearful that it could involve hundreds of individuals not just here in Indiana but across the country,” Hogsett said.

The preliminary charges pertain to Finkbiner’s alleged extortion of two 14-year-old boys, one in Maryland and the other in Michigan.

Prosecutors say he surreptitiously recorded videos of the boys exposing themselves on webcam chat sites and threatened to post them and the boys’ identities on gay porn sites unless the boys performed sexual acts for him via webcam.

“So u wanna play or b a famous gay porn star?” he allegedly asked the Michigan boy.

The boy told Finkbiner he was underage and pleaded with him to delete the recording, the complaint says. “u know that I under age and that is against the law and u could be arrested for this.”

But the complaint says Finkbiner responded: “yes it is illegal im ok with that ... I won’t get caught im a hacker I covered my tracks.”

The boys complied with Finkbiner’s demands at first before reporting the crime to relatives, officials said. Investigators then tracked the communications to Clay County Internet in Brazil, a company Finkbiner owns that provides website hosting and other computer-related services, the complaint said.