Update: William Koch was sentenced yesterday to 20 years in prison for convincing a string of underage teens to send him nude photos and for threatening them with exposure if they didn't send more or otherwise engage in sex acts on video. (Chronicle-Telegram)
(Originally posted Jan. 17. 2013) Fake girlfriends, online persona and Catfish have been the dominating topic of conversation the last 24 hours after it was revealed that Notre Dame star Manti Te'o's dead girlfriend was never real.
In related local news...
William T. Koch, a 23-year-old Columbia Station man with cerebral palsy, is under investigation by authorities for soliciting nude photos and video from underage members of the touring cast of the "Billy Elliot" musical and then using that ammo for blackmail.
Specifically, Koch created a fake Facebook profile of a 15-year-old girl and contacted a 15-year-old Canadian boy who was part of the cast. He sent nude photos of a female body, convinced the boy to masturbate online with the excuse that his/her webcam was broken but would send more photos in the future, captured said video, and then sent the following message, threatening to make the images public unless he had sex with his 10-year-old brother:
“So u either (expletive) your brother Tomorrow morning and let me watch, or else it goes on facebook. And in all honesty, those pictures are not of me…And if you do decide to post the pics I sent you as blackmail, go right ahewd (sic). That profile, and this Skype, for that matter, are all fake. I am a 45 year old dude.”
But this wasn't an isolated incident. Koch had previously had chats with the FBI after trying to contact members of the "Billy Elliot" cast, and even hacking one of their profiles, demanding nude photos in exchange for control of the Facebook account.
From the Chronicle-Telegram:
The boy told his mother what happened, and she contacted Canadian law enforcement. Police eventually tracked Gold back to an Internet address at Koch’s house after a “friend” request was sent to the teen’s younger brother on Facebook in November.
Koch already was under investigation, according to another affidavit by Liberti requesting a search warrant for Koch’s house in connection with an investigation into messages sent to “Billy Elliot” cast members. Koch was told to stop trying to “contact and extort children via the Internet.”
Koch came to the attention of authorities again in June 2011 after a then-13-year-old actor touring with the play began receiving text messages demanding a nude photo.
“It’s as clear as day,” the affidavit quoted one of the texts as reading. “Send me a nude or else I will make your life a living hell.”
The texts were traced back to Koch’s iPhone, and he was interviewed on Aug. 17, 2011. During that conversation he told the FBI that he had sent the text messages and knew how old the 13-year-old was when he did it, although he didn’t plan to follow through on his threats.
The agents warned Koch, who denied he had sent messages to any of the show’s other actors, not to have any further contact with “Billy Elliot” cast members.
Koch is also under investigation for possessing child pornography.