Idaho man charged in sextortion case involving Utah teen

Idaho man charged in sextortion case involving Utah teen


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SALT LAKE CITY — A Pocatello man has been charged in a sextortion case involving a Utah high school student.

Michael Brent Powell, 20, was charged Nov. 20 in Logan's 1st District Court with aggravated sexual extortion of a child, a first-degree felony, and 12 counts of sexual exploitation of a minor, a second-degree felony.

According to charging documents, a 17-year-old girl had a two-year relationship, both online and in person, with Powell but recently broke it off. During their relationship, in August the teen sent a nude selfie to Powell.

On Oct. 30, the girl received a Facebook message from an account she did not recognize, threatening to send that picture to her parents if she did not send the unknown man more pictures, according to charging documents. Police believe Powell set up the fake Facebook account.

"You don't want anyone seeing the pics and vids huh," the man messaged the girl.

"Nope. But if you wanna be that type of person who shows my pics/videos then I can be the type of person to charge you with possession of child pornography so you decide," she replied.

The girl then texted Powell and asked him, "Are you the one on Facebook trying to blackmail me?" according to court records.

The girl was pressured into sending more photos and videos out of fear that Powell would send other pictures to her mother, the charges state. After sending more pictures, the girl then called police.

A $100,000 warrant was issued for Powell's arrest.

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Pat Reavy is a longtime police and courts reporter. He joined the team in 2021, after many years of reporting at the Deseret News and KSL NewsRadio before that.


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