BOSTON, Mass. (WPRI) – A Taunton man has been sentenced to 18 years in prison and seven years supervised release for convincing underage girls to send him sexually explicit photos over the internet.
Joseph Debrum, 40, pleaded guilty in April to seven counts of coercion and enticement a minor, six counts of sexual exploitation of children, and two counts of distribution of child pornography.
Debrum admitted to creating online female identities, one of a 21-year-old woman and the other a 16-year-old girl, and using them to interact with seven girls from six different states, between the ages of 13 and 16. He used the personas to convince the girls to send him explicit pictures of themselves, as well as perform sexual acts.
Law enforcement was notified when Debrum sent nude photos to one’s victim’s mother, threatening to expose her daughter if she too did not agree to perform sexual acts. The woman then contacted local police, who subsequently interviewed Debrum. He admitted to creating the false personas online to gain contact with the teens, as well as forcing them to perform explicit acts.
The case was a part of Project Safe Childhood, a nationwide initiative created by the Department of Justice in 2006 aimed at protecting minors from exploitation and abuse.