MINNEAPOLIS – Anton Martynenko targeted more than 150 children in a vicious “sextortion” scheme and will spend decades behind bars.
United States Attorney Andrew M. Luger today announced the sentencing of Anton Alexander Martynenko, 33, to 38 years in prison after pleading guilty in January to federal child pornography charges. MARTYNENKO was sentenced before U.S. District Judge Richard H. Kyle in U.S. District Court in Saint Paul, Minn.
“This defendant exploited and extorted over 150 young people in a disturbingly manipulative scheme,” said U.S. Attorney Luger. “We hope the victims in this case take some solace in the sentence imposed today. I urge parents and teachers to help Minnesota youth protect themselves from online predators.”
Rosemount Police Chief Mitchell Scott said: “This case was the result of a collaboration between local, federal and state partners. While there are no winners here, the lengthy prison sentence for Anton Martynenko provides some measure of justice for the many people he victimized over the years.”
According to Martynenko’s guilty plea and documents filed in court, between at least 2011 and 2015, he used social media to obtain homemade child pornography from unsuspecting boys, many of them teenagers. The defendant created and used various false aliases, including “Marie Anna,” “Courtney Jansgen,” and “Marie94mn,” on social media outlets for the purpose of obtaining nude and sexually explicit images and videos of minor males. Martynenko created different cover stories, including that he (posing as a woman) had recently moved to Minnesota and was trying to make new friends, that he worked for a modeling agency, or that he was a college student at the University of Minnesota. Martynenko would engage in sexual conversations with victims and eventually ask for nude images and/or video of the minor male victims.
According to the defendant’s guilty plea and documents filed in court, in approximately 2012, Martynenko contacted a victim using a decoy social media account under the name “Marie Anna.” He claimed to be a woman who recently moved to Minnesota from Illinois who was looking to meet new people. Martynenko told the victim that he was handsome and quickly moved to suggesting they exchange nude photographs. Martynenko, using the moniker, “Marie Anna,” sent pictures to the victim of a nude female. The victim then sent nude pictures of himself to “Marie Anna” via social media. Martynenko, still using the handle, “Marie Anna,” demanded more photos of the victim, but the victim stopped responding to the messages when he became suspicious. Martynenko then threatened to distribute the victim’s nude photographs if the victim did not send more. About one year later, the victim learned that his pictures were being distributed via social media.
According to the defendant’s guilty plea and documents filed in court, Martynenko also used decoy accounts to advertise child pornography over the internet.
This case was brought as part of Project Safe Childhood, a nationwide initiative to combat the growing epidemic of child sexual exploitation and abuse launched in May 2006 by the Department of Justice.
This case was prosecuted by Assistant United States Carol M. Kayser.
This case is the result of an investigation conducted by the FBI, Minneapolis Police Department, Rosemount Police Department, Eagan Police Department, Chaska Police Department, and Dakota County Electronic Crimes Task Force.