Suburban man convinced young girls to send him explicit pix via TikTok and Snapchat, threatened to expose them if they stopped: prosecutors

CHICAGO — A Riverdale man posed as a young dancer to convince pre-teen girls to send him explicit videos and pictures of themselves via TikTok and Snapchat, prosecutors said this weekend.

James Wright, 32, was arrested after an investigation by the Cook County Sheriff’s Police. They acted on tips from a national child exploitation tip center and authorities in Atlanta, where he is wanted for child pornography charges, the sheriff’s office said.

Between at least December 2022 and November 2023, Wright convinced three girls, all 8 or 9 years old, to send him explicit pictures and videos on social media, prosecutors said Saturday.

Upon receiving images from the girls, Wright asked for more and threatened to expose the girls’ behavior to their families and classmates if they did not cooperate, according to the allegations.

In one case, he sent a video of child pornography to one of the victims’ mother’s phone, prosecutors said in a detention petition.

Investigators allegedly linked several social media accounts and IP addresses to Wright through a search warrant. They also found explicit videos of children on his phone and iCloud account, including some videos of adults and young children engaged in sexual activity, officials said.

James Wright (Cook County sheriff’s office)

He is charged with two counts each of reproducing child pornography of a victim under 13, two counts of soliciting child pornography from a child under 13, and three counts each of possessing child pornography, grooming, and intimidation.

Judge Susana Ortiz granted the state’s detention petition, calling Wright a “clear and present danger to all children.” He is due in court again on Thursday.

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