JACKSONVILLE, FL—U.S. District Judge Timothy J. Corrigan today sentenced Joshua Jay Williamson (24, Jacksonville) to five-and-a-half years (66 months) in federal prison and a 10-year term of supervised release for making extortionate threats over the Internet and possessing images and videos of child pornography. Williamson was also ordered to register as a sex offender and forfeit his computer media.
According to court documents, from February 2011 through June 7, 2011, Williamson repeatedly used a computer and interactive computer services to transmit threatening communications to several female individuals over the Internet. He transmitted these threatening communications with the intent to extort sexually explicit photographic images from these female victims. Williamson compromised the e-mail and social networking accounts of female victims in an effort to gather personal information about them, including sexually suggestive and provocative photographs. He sent e-mail or other electronic communications to the victims, demanding they send him nude and sexually explicit photographic images. Williamson would inform the victim that if she did not comply with his demand, he would send sexually suggestive and provocative pictures to her friends on her e-mail contact and mailing lists.
Williamson hacked into the e-mail accounts and social networking sites of dozens of adult females. In doing so, he was able to access and obtain photographs of some of the victims. On May 19, 2011, Williamson sent extortionate e-mails to approximately 75 other female individuals requesting that the victims send him “full nude photos” or risk having pictures sent to the victim’s e-mail and Facebook contacts. Williamson used several Internet protocol (IP) addresses to access the Internet and send out the extortionate e-mails. He used an anonymizer program in an unsuccessful effort to conceal his identity. A forensic analysis of Williamson’s computer revealed folders titled in the names of nearly 150 different women. Many of the folders contained photographs of the women, as well as their personal information. Approximately 23 images and 31 videos of child pornography were also found on his computer.
This case was investigated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation, Florida Department of Law Enforcement, Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office, and the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children. It was prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorneys D. Rodney Brown and Diidri W. Robinson.