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Illinois man used child rape threats to get child porn

Illinois man used child rape threats to get child porn

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Bryan P. Flanagan

Mugshot of Bryan Patrick Flanagan, courtesy of the Marion County jail.

A man from southern Illinois admitted on Thursday that he threatened to rape a child in order to extort nude pictures and videos from other children whom he'd contacted online.

The child whom Bryan Patrick Flanagan was threatening was not real, he admitted in a federal court hearing Thursday. But he used those threats to try to persuade girls across the country to send him child porn, Assistant U.S. Attorney Christopher Hoell said in court.

Flanagan, 34, of Centralia, targeted the girls using fake profiles on Facebook. His communication with them began normally, but would turn sexual, and then he would begin the threats, court documents say.

He admitted as part of his plea that he had contacted girls in Missouri, Tennessee, California, Texas and Pennsylvania.

In court documents, prosecutors said Flanagan targeted 51 victims in February and March of 2020. After his arrest, he admitted making harassing phone calls to women and girls for 19 years, often of an obscene nature. He was on probation at the time of his arrest on the federal charges for a 2018 conviction in Marion County, Illinois, for making harassing and obscene communications. 

Flanagan pleaded guilty Thursday to two counts of distributing child porn and five counts of interstate communications with intent to extort.

He is scheduled to be sentenced Dec. 16 and could face roughly 15 to 20 years under federal sentencing guidelines.

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