A 21-year-old Hamilton man is facing several child porn charges after police allege he posed as a girl online to get boys to send him sexual images. Authorities claim the man then used those images to blackmail the victims into sending him more pictures on themselves.
A tip from the FBI led Hamilton police to the suspect, who was arrested on Tuesday while he was at work.
The suspect is accused of posing as a “young female” and then persuading boys and young men in Canada, the United States and the United Kingdom to disrobe in front of webcams. Police claim the man recorded those images and then threatened to post the pictures if the victims didn’t send him more images of themselves.
Police say the suspect used the email address firstname.lastname@example.org. Sgt. Terri-Lynn Collings said many of the victims complied with the alleged demands. In other cases, she said the suspect allegedly shared the images with the victims’ friends and relatives.
Officers executed a search warrant at the man’s Hamilton mountain home on April 25 and seized computer equipment.
Investigators believe there may be more alleged victims.
Robert Ellis is facing several charges including two counts of extortion, two counts of making child pornography, possession of child pornography and making it available, and two counts of luring.
He was scheduled to appear in court for a bail hearing on Wednesday. Police say further charges are expected.
Anyone with information is asked to call Hamilton police at (905) 540-5247 or Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-TIPS.