A 19-year-old from Temecula, Calif., has been arrested in the “sextortion” case involving Cassidy Wolf, Miss Teen USA 2013, federal authorities claimed on Thursday, adding that several other women were also victimized by him.
According to the Los Angeles Times, Jared James Abrahams, the suspect, has been accused of cybercrimes for allegedly hacking into Wolf's computer, and Laura Eimiller, an FBI spokeswoman, confirmed the news that Abrahams had been taken into custody.
He was later freed on $50,000 bail and has been instructed to use his home computer only for schoolwork. A software installed in Abrahams’ computer will monitor its use.
Abrahams is said to have hacked into Wolf’s computer remotely and obtained nude pictures by compromising her webcam. He later sent an e-mail to Wolf, who was crowned Miss Teen USA in August, and said he would go public with the photographs if she did not comply with his demands.
“I wasn’t aware that somebody was watching me (on my webcam)," she told Today.com in August. “The light (on the camera) didn’t even go on, so I had no idea.”
Reportedly, Abrahams demanded his victims send him nude photographs and videos, and asked them to log in to online video-calling services and act out his instructions. An investigator involved in the case told Los Angeles Times that on one occasion Abrahams told a victim that he would change her “dream of being a model ... into [the victim being] a porn star” if she did not obey his orders.
Multiple reports show that Abrahams, a college freshman from Temecula, Calif., was under investigation since March after Wolf reported that she was being targeted by a hacker. His home was raided in June and officials seized computers, cell phones and hacking software.
"Abrahams used malicious software to disguise his identity in order to capture nude photos or videos of victims through remote operation of cameras on their home computers without their consent," the charges state, according to ABC News.
Wolf has so far not issued a statement on Abrahams’ arrest. She is set to appear on “Today” on Friday morning, according to E!Online.
Keerthi Mohan is an IBTimes reporter covering entertainment and human interest stories.