A Chicago man threatened to post revealing photos of his condo building’s front desk receptionist online to ruin the woman’s reputation in a series of anonymous text messages, prosecutors said.
Police detectives used a series of investigative techniques to track the messages and threats to Brian Henager, a 28-year-old man whom the alleged victim recognized as a resident of the building where she worked who made drunken come-ons, according to Assistant State’s Attorney Franka D’Antignac.
The alleged threats began on March 29, 2020, when the woman received a text from an unfamiliar number that included an image of her nude breasts, D’Antignac said. While the woman’s face was not visible, the victim recognized her body and the photo background.
A message that arrived with the image threatened to post revealing photos of the victim online unless she sent the anonymous person more nudes within 10 hours, D’Antignac said. The victim refused to comply.
Then, the woman received several more texts from the same number on August 14 and 15 that said the sender was looking for someone to work a modeling job. A follow-up text included another photo that included her face and the clothes she was wearing at the time — a bra and underwear — according to D’Antignac.
Once again, the sender ordered the victim to send explicit photos if she wanted to keep embarrassing images from being posted online where the victim’s friends, family, and colleagues would see them.
The sender warned the victim that she would never find another job and the photos would “ruin her life,” D’Antignac said. Instead of giving in to the demands, the victim contacted police.
Detectives tracked the sender’s phone number through two different companies before identifying an email account and internet address used to establish the device’s account, according to D’Antignac.
While the investigation was still on-going, the victim received another text from a different phone number on January 1. It included a photo of her wearing lingerie.
Two days later, the victim’s boyfriend and her cousin called the number and had a short conversation with a man who answered. D’Antignac said the cousin got a phone call from a different number a few minutes later, and the cousin recognized the voice as being the same from the brief conversation he just had.
Detectives tracked that phone number and linked it to Henager and a “Nick Ramsey Photos” Gmail address associated with the first phone that sent threats to the woman, D’Antignac said.
After seeing a photo of Henager, the alleged victim recognized him as someone who lives in the building. She told police that he approached her at the front desk on several occasions while drunk and asked her to engage in sex acts, but she always declined, D’Antignac alleged.
Prosecutors did not say how Henager might have secured private images of the woman, but the alleged victim said she kept the pictures on a personal laptop that she used at work, but she never sent the images to anyone.
Cops arrested Henager this week at a Gold Coast car dealership where he works. Prosecutors charged him with felony intimidation.
Police believe Henager sent similar messages to other women, too, D’Antignac told Judge Mary Marubio during his bond hearing this week.
Marbuio ordered Henager to have no contact with the alleged victim and set his bail at $10,000. He went home by posting a $1,000 deposit bond.