ATLANTA — A Georgia man has been sentenced to 40 years in prison for coercing more than 100 girls to send him sexually explicit photos and videos.
Benjamin Jenkins, 25, also faces a lifetime of supervision after his eventual release, according to the U.S. Justice Department, which described him as a “prolific sextortionist” in announcing his sentence on Tuesday.
Jenkins was convicted in January of nine counts of producing child pornography and three counts of distributing child pornography. However, the press release said Jenkins persuaded as many as 150 girls to send him sexually suggestive images of themselves.
“Jenkins exploited as many as 150 girls for his perverse satisfaction, causing unbelievable trauma to these children and their families,” said U.S. Attorney Byung J. “BJay” Pak. “The sheer degradation and depravity that Jenkins forced his victims to endure is unimaginable. This sentence will hopefully help these courageous victims and their families heal.”
Jenkins contacted girls between 13 and 16 years old using different aliases and profiles beginning in 2015, according to the news release. Prosecutors said he would obtain images, then extort girls into sending more by threatening to share them online or with their families, FOX reported.
He even used a countdown clock, telling the girls that if they didn’t send the images more quickly, or if they blocked him, he would post their contact information online, according to the news release.
“No sentence will ever bring back the innocence that this monster stole from hundreds of girls,” said acting Special Agent in Charge Robert Hammer, who oversees Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) operations in Georgia and Alabama. “These victims were trapped in a vicious cycle from which they could not escape. We will continue to go after these predators while educating our youth about the dangers of sextortion.”