(WOIO) - The Federal Bureau Investigation has broken an international sextortion plot and arrested the suspect behind it. There have been hundreds of teen victims, but the FBI is working to identify more. One victim who came forward encourages others to speak up.
"I just remember getting this message that the subject line said something about naked pictures that he has of me," explains Ashley, a sextortion victim.
Ashley was just 14 when she became the victim of a sextortion scheme. Lucas Michael Chansler gained her trust by pretending to be a teen boy. She eventually sent him sexual photos of herself.
Unfortunately, Ashley is just one of 350 victims in the United Kingdom, three Canadian provinces, and 26 states in the U.S., including Ohio. She broke the case by telling her parents after her mother read the disturbing e-mail messages.
"He was not going to stop and he was set on sharing my picture with whoever he could to ruin my reputation. I felt like a slave," says Ashley.
The 31-year-old man is now serving 105 years behind bars for a scheme to produce child pornography that dated back to 2007.
Investigators say he had more than 80,000 images and videos of his victims and used multiple screen names to conceal his identity.
"These girls are traumatized. They're having to do these things. They're so fearful. They don't want people to find out what they've done," says Agent Vicki Anderson with Cleveland's FBI.
Authorities know there are more victims out there because they have only been able to positively identify 109 out of the 350.
The FBI encourages those victims to come forward. Ashley says she's glad she did.
"I didn't even want to believe what I was doing," says Ashley. "I want to help someone in this situation."
If you have information that may help identify victims of Lucas Michael Chansler or believe you have been victimized by him, complete a confidential questionnaire at FBI.gov/sextortion. You can also send a confidential e-mail to FBI.VICTIMASSISTANCE@IC.FBI.GOV, contact your local FBI Field Office, or call toll-free at 1-800-CALL-FBI.