Holtsville man pleads guilty in ‘sextortion scheme’
A Holtsville man pleaded guilty today in what DA Tim Sini describes as a sextortion scheme.
Joseph Iorio pleaded guilty to charges of stalking and scheme to defraud. He had been accused of trying to extort sexually explicit photos and videos from dozens of women by threatening to disseminate their nude photos.
Sini says naked pictures of 30 women – photos that were taken voluntarily -- were stored on their phones or in the cloud. Iorio got a hold of the photos and uploaded them and the women’s names into chatrooms.
“The perpetrators will then use the photos to extort or blackmail the girls or women into doing horrific things, degrading things, or else their photos will be released,” Sini explains.
The DA says Iorio found some of his victims in online chatrooms, as well as on social media sites like Facebook.
“They were told to do things like get naked in public, or perform sexual acts on themselves, all while taking photos and videos of the events for Iorio,” says Sini. “If they didn't comply, Iorio threatened again to release their photos and videos he already had.”
Sini describes the actions as a modern day form of sexual torture.
Many of the details in the case have not been revealed in order to protect the identities of the women. Sini says the plea deal gets Iorio a minimum of five years behind bars.
Iorio will not be registered as a sex offender as there was no sexual crime to charge him with that fits what he did. Sini and Gov. Andrew Cuomo are pushing to change the legislation to address cases like this. Sini today announced a new initiative to help victims of sextortion and revenge porn without sharing their identities.
Anyone can call 631-853-5602 or email email@example.com to report sexual exploitation.