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By | Dan Goodin 3rd December 2007 17:54

Pedophile gets 110 years in MySpace extortion scheme

'Tools of Terror'

A 33-year-old North Carolina man has been sentenced to 110 years in prison after pleading guilty to charges that he terrorized more than 100 underage girls by hacking into MySpace accounts and extorting nude pictures from them.

Ivory Dickerson, a civil engineer, received the maximum sentence on three counts of manufacturing child pornography, two counts of unlawful computer intrusion and one count for possession of child pornography. Members of the FBI's Innocent Images Task Force uncovered a cache of child porn dating back to 1998, including videos of Dickerson with young girls in which he boasted of drinking and having sexual encounters with them, according to court documents.

"I haven't seen a crime in 16 years on the bench quite as horrible as this one," US District Judge Anne Conway said. A federal prosecutor called Dickerson's hacking skills "tools of terror."

Dickerson stalked his victims on MySpace and then hacked into their computers, giving him remote access to their machines. He would then threaten to harm them or their family members unless they provided nude images of themselves.

He told one girl, "Are you sure you want to drive to school tomorrow?" In another instance he threatened to make a 17-year-old victim "the most well known girl at school" if she didn't comply with his wishes.

Authorities believe Dickerson didn't act alone in the scheme. FBI investigators, which still don't know exactly how many children were pressured into making porn by Dickerson, are still looking for more victims.

Additional coverage of the sentencing is available here and here. ®

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