Man Pleads Guilty in Federal Court to Extortion of Minors

By Trish Mehaffey, Reporter

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By Ellen Kurt

CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa - A 23-year-old Cedar Rapids man who sexually exploited and extorted two girls, ages 15 and 16, pleaded guilty to three charges Tuesday in federal court and faces up to 42 years in prison.

Lucas Robinson pleaded guilty to one count of sexual exploitation of children, one count of possession of child pornography and one count of extortion. According to the plea agreement he used, persuaded, induced, enticed and coerced the two teens to engage in sexually explicit conduct for the purpose of producing photos and video of them between 2009 and 2012.

According to pretrial documents, the 15-year-old told officers she had been in contact with Robinson by phone and through Facebook. The girl said she sent sexually explicit images of herself to Robinson and that he threatened to send those images to others if she didn't continue to send new photos. The girl said Robinson also threatened bodily harm to her and her family if she didn't send the photos.

Law enforcement seized Robinson's computer and found the photos and video of the two girls and 25 images of females, eight who were identified with the youngest being 12-years-old, according to the pretrial document. Officers also found the threats Robinson made on his computer and in text messages, and recovered a Facebook communications with a woman who warned Robinson that his actions could result in criminal charges. Robinson in response wrote he intended to wait and see what happened but if charged, he might kill himself.

Sentencing hasn't been set. Robinson faces a mandatory minimum of 15 years in federal prison and up to 42 years on all charges, and $750,000 in fines.

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