A Wisconsin teen was sentenced to 15 years in prison Wednesday for using Facebook to blackmail classmates into having sex with him. Anthony Stancl, 19, pleaded guilty in December to two felonies, including repeated sexual assault of a child. Stancl was 18-years old at the time of his crimes.
According to court documents, Stancl posed as a girl on Facebook, induced some 30 classmates to send him naked pictures, and then used the photos to blackmail at least seven of them to have sex with him. Over 300 nude photos of male classmates were found on Stancl's computer.
Stancl "admitted that he pretended to be 'Kayla' and threatened the victim that if the victim did not have various types of sexual contact with the defendant, the photographs of the victim would be sent to people at the high school," according to the complaint.
'I am afraid of what he can and might do'
Waukesha County Circuit Judge J. Mac Davis handed down the sentence "because he said Stancl had proven he was manipulative, excessively self-centered and could still be dangerous," according to the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel.
"I am afraid of what he can and might do," Judge Davis said.
Stancl's attorney told Wired.com that the student struggled with his sexuality and was humiliated after being outed by another student.
"He had a strong desire to fit in with everyone," the lawyer said. "I think that was why he went to the great length he did to appear that he wasn't gay and was just a victim [of extortion] like they were...He was never comfortable with the fact that he was bisexual so he came up with an elaborate scheme to cover that to appear to be a normal heterosexual teen."
Parents Must Be Vigilant
The case is yet one more example of the dangers children face in the social networking world's great Wild West.
In a radio interview after the sentence, Waukesha County District Attorney Brad Schimel warned parents to be vigilant about their child's use of the internet. "They have to know that the more capability they give their kids electronically with this stuff, the less control they have over their kid's safety," said Schimel told radio station WTMJ.
"They need to know that parents should and can search their kids computers and their phones and what their kids are doing. They should put monitors on their computers so they can find out what their kids are sending or instant messaging. They should think about whether their kids need to have a phone that has a camera, internet capability and all those other things that come with it," he said.
Stancl expressed remorse after the sentencing.
"I am deeply, deeply sorry for the pain and suffering I have caused you and your family. I can't imagine or understand how much of an impact my actions have had on you," Stancl said, according to UPI. After completing his prison term, Stancl faces 13 years of extended supervision.