A 20-year-old volunteer wrestling coach in the Hudson Valley accused of using SnapChat and Instagram to convince a young boy to perform oral sex on him has been sentenced to 13 years in prison.
Marcus Stroud, of Nyack, was sentenced Tuesday by U.S. District Judge Cathy Seibel for receiving files containing sexually explicit images of a minor after pleading guilty in June, said Geoffrey S. Berman, the U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of New York.
“Marcus Stroud’s crime is the nightmare of every parent," said Berman. "Stroud used social media platforms to prey upon and exploit a teenage boy for his own sexual gratification. As today’s sentencing underscores, we will continue to use every tool available to law enforcement to prosecute and punish those who sexually exploit children.”
According to court documents, in late 2015, Stroud met the victim at youth wrestling tournament in Clarkstown. The two connected online through SnapChat and Instagram with Stroud using the account name "thechsenpug," ("Pug"), without the then 14-year-old realizing it was Stroud on the other end.
Soon after, the boy received naked pictures of a female on SnapChat from Pug while requesting the boy return the messages with naked photos of himself.
When the boy complied, Pug then told the boy that his photos would be released on social media unless he sent video footage of himself “performing oral sex on a black guy,” according to officials.
In January 2016, Stroud contacted the boy via SnapChat to say that he had seen the boy’s naked photos on Instagram before they were later deleted and told the boy he was good with computers and could “put an alert” on the nude photos that would notify him if they were published online again.
The boy explained his predicament to the wrestling coach before Stroud, who is black, offered to let the boy perform the sexual act on him to prevent the photos from being published online.
In February 2016, Stroud, who was then 18, told the boy he had received two alerts about the nude photographs being published online and convinced the boy to perform the sexual act on him to prevent further release of the photographs.
The two met later that day when the boy performed the act while Stroud recorded it. Stroud told the boy he would infect the video with a virus that would allow him to take control of the “female’s” cell phone so he could delete the nude photographs.
The following day, on Feb. 21, the boy received a message from another SnapChat user by the name of “Sweedprincess,” stating that “she” saw the boy’s video and wanted him to make another. Soon after receiving the SnapChat messages from the second account, the boy told his parents about what had occurred, who in turn contacted police.
In addition to the prison term, Stroud was sentenced to 15 years of supervised release.
Berman praised the efforts of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the Clarkstown Police Department, and the Rockland County District Attorney’s Office in connection with the investigation.
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