BYU student indicted in sexual extortion case involving underage teenager

A student has been charged following an investigation into a sexual extortion case involving a 16-year-old girl and a minor.

Benjamin Christopher Shields, 20, originally from Maryland but living in Provo while attending Brigham Young University, was charged Monday with aggravated sexual extortion of a child, aggravated sexual extortion and sexual exploitation of a child. ‘a minor.

The investigation began in May when Lehi’s agents learned that a 16-year-old girl had sent nude photos of herself to someone on Snapchat who had offered her money.

According to an arrest affidavit, the girl told police that the person on Snapchat also offered her a large sum of money for an explicit video chat, as well as small amounts for photos.

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Police said no money was ever received by the teenager who stopped sending pictures of herself.

Shields threatened to post the teenager’s photos on the internet if she stopped sending him, according to the probable cause statement.

Following the threat, the teenager continued to send pictures to him, but eventually informed his mother of the interaction.

An investigation into the case has begun and the police were able to identify a potential suspect by tracing his IP address.

According to police documents, the IP address was linked to a residence in Maryland, but police learned that the suspect had moved to Provo to attend BYU.

Investigators searched Shield’s phone and found “multiple Snapchat accounts with messages to multiple women, many of whom were underage.”

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The messages to the women included an offer of “thousands of dollars” in exchange for sexual images and acts.

Arrest documents said Shields lied to the girls about his age and encouraged them to send him inappropriate photos “even after learning they were only 11 years old.”

Detectives have identified a second victim who sent pictures of her naked to Shields, her age was not noted but she was identified as a minor. Prosecution documents say he also threatened to post pictures of the second victim if she did not continue to send photos to him, despite being told how upset she was by the ordeal.

According to the prosecution documents, Shields said he didn’t want to “make her feel bad but he can’t help it.”

Shield’s bond was set at $ 10,000.

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