A Pennsylvania Catholic high school senior was busted for allegedly posing as a girl to blackmail more than 100 middle school boys to send him nude photos of themselves, officials said Thursday.
Derrick Jones, a student at Monsignor Bonner Catholic High School, used various apps to communicate with the boys through his online identity, “Haley,” WDAU-TV reported.
“They believed that they were receiving naked pictures of a teenage girl and so they were responding to Haley thinking that it was a teenage girl that was interested in them. Unfortunately, it was not,” Delaware County District Attorney Jack Whelan said at a press conference.
Jones used Instagram, Kik, WeChat and Snapchat to target 136 people — 60 of whom were boys, officials said.
The 18-year-old would post the photos online to extort the minors in providing more explicit photos. He once sent photos to one of his victim’s relatives to shame him, officials said.
Investigators tracked down Jones by using his IP address and believe his intent was for “sexual gratification.”
Officials say “Haley” is a real girl who had her identity stolen by Jones.
The Archdiocese of Philadelphia released a statement saying the incident “is deeply disturbing to all of us.”
“Our immediate concern is for those who were or may have been victimized,” the archdiocese said, according to the station. “Our understanding is that Delaware County Detectives have been in contact with individuals they have reason to believe could be a victim in this matter.”
Jones is charged with dissemination of child porn, unlawful use of a computer, harassment and other crimes. He also faces expulsion from school. His bail was set at $ 55,000.