NEW ORLEANS, La. (KLFY) – A man who was an enlisted sailor stationed in Belle Chasse was sentenced to over 38 years in prison on Feb. 7.
Biagio William Ambrosino, 20, originally of Queens, NY., was sentenced to a total of 460 months in prison and supervised release for a term of life after pleading guilty to one count of producing images and videos depicting the sexual exploitation of children and transmitting interstate threats for the purpose of extorting a thing of value, according to the U.S. Attorney’s Office Eastern District of Louisiana.
According to the U.S. Attorney’s Office, the court also scheduled a hearing to determine the amount of restitution Ambrosino will owe the victims for May 2.
The charges stem from Ambrosino’s implementation of an exploitative and extortionate scheme to convince individuals to send him sexually explicit content between August 2020 and January 2022, the U.S. Attorney’s Office said.
According to the U.S. Attorney’s Office, Ambrosino used several strategies depending on the victims’ age, cognitive ability, level of compliance, and whether he knew them. For individuals he knew, he would anonymously either prey on their friendship or use the information he already had about them and their families to obtain sexually explicit depictions from them. For individuals Ambrosino did not previously know, he would use other measures like contacting minors via social media direct message and asking if the minor wanted “to be Instagram famous,” then he would ask for a sexually suggestive or explicit photo to prove that the minor was serious about being famous.
The U.S. Attorney’s Office also said that Ambrosino would offer items of value to entice minors to take and send him sexually explicit photos and videos or engage in sexually explicit conduct while on a video chat with him.
When victims expressed reluctance to send him sexually explicit depictions, Ambrosino would extort them by threatening harm or physical violence, the U.S. Attorney’s Office said.
He would also continue to demand increasingly explicit content from the victims and transmit some of the depictions he obtained to other individuals in exchange for the identities of other, future potential victims.
The U.S. Attorney’s Office further said that Ambrosino victimized at least 11 people, including nine minors from the age of 10 to 17, one of whom had a diagnosed developmental cognitive disability and speech disability.
The identified victims were residents of eight different states and the country of Australia.