A 22-year-old Wahpeton man will serve 32 years behind bars in a child pornography case that’s the first of its kind in North Dakota.
Dustin Coleman was sentenced by Judge Ralph Erickson on Tuesday for three counts of production of child pornography, two counts of extortion of sexually explicit images and videos from a child, and three counts of possession of child pornography.
Judge Erickson also sentenced Coleman to a lifetime of supervised release and pay an $800 special assessment to the Crime Victims Fund. Due to the child pornography charges, coupled with the exploitation, officials call this case the first "sextortion" investigation in the state.
Beginning in 2013, and continuing until about July 2013, Coleman used Kik Messenger and Touch, which are free messaging apps, to threaten to extort sexually explicit images and videos from female minors.
Coleman used social networking websites, such as Facebook, to gather information about the girls. He then used this information to extort the girls into creating sexually explicit images of themselves.
Coleman used several different online screen names, including the "debt collector," to both intimidate the minor females and conceal his identity and location.
If the girls didn’t comply, Coleman threatened to post the images and videos to their friends and family. In at least one instance, he also threatened to sexually assault a minor female's sister if she did not comply.
In August of 2013, Coleman's former roommate reported to the Wahpeton Police Department that she saw child pornography of a familiar 14-year-old on Coleman's electronic media. She took the media to a Wahpeton Police Department officer, who obtained a search warrant. The evidence was examined by a BCI special agent who discovered hundreds of sexually explicit images of young girls that appeared to be self-produced.