Former Canadian medical student pleads guilty to online sextortion scheme targeting Virginia Beach teens

Posted at 6:06 PM, Aug 13, 2020

NORFOLK, Va. – A Canadian man pleaded guilty Wednesday to orchestrating an online sextortion scheme targeting two local teens and producing images of child sexual abuse.

Court documents say 35-year-old Marco Viscomi of Ontario, Canada, was first identified by the Virginia Beach Police Department and Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) in 2012.

In January 2012, a father of two girls, then 13 and 17 years old, had reported to Virginia Beach Police that his daughters had been extorted by someone they met online. He said the person online threatened the girls and forced them to engage in sexually explicit conduct and produce images of child sexual abuse.

VBPD and HSI traced the culprit to Ontario and identified Viscomi as the person responsible. Viscomi was a 26-year-old medical student at that time.

An additional investigation revealed that Viscomi had engaged in similar sextortion conduct against dozens of other minor victims around the United States.

In July 2012, Viscomi was charged in federal court in the Eastern District of Virginia and arrested in Canada. He fought extradition to the United States until December 2019, when the Canadian courts finally ordered him extradited to Norfolk to face the charges.

Viscomi pleaded guilty to two counts of production of child pornography. He faces a mandatory minimum of 15 years per count and a maximum penalty of 30 years in prison per count when sentenced on January 14, 2021.

Related: FBI partners with Hampton Roads schools to find victims of sextortion

“Let this case serve as notice to online predators. Homeland Security Investigations began this case with the Virginia Beach Police Department more than eight years ago and didn’t relent until justice was served,” said Raymond Villanueva, Special Agent in Charge of U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s Homeland Security Investigations Washington, D.C. “Individuals who prey on children cannot hide behind their electronic devices and screen names. We will find and arrest you and ensure you are prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law.”

This case was brought as part of Project Safe Childhood, a nationwide initiative launched in May 2006 by the Department of Justice to combat the growing epidemic of child sexual exploitation and abuse.

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