Plenty of people have done it, gone online pretending to be something they are not. Indeed, plenty of men have gone online into chat rooms, forums, virtual worlds and social networking sites pretending to be women. Usually it is for the attention, sometimes it is for the sexual kicks of a gay guy getting chatted up (or even engaging in cyber-sex with) an unsuspecting straight man. Most people do not enter into this game of false identity with blackmail and sexual assault in mind though.

Yet that is precisely what an 18 year old teenager from Wisconsin is charged with doing. He is alleged to have used Facebook as the launchpad for a bizarre blackmail plot which culminated in the real world sexual assault of other teen boys.

Anthony Stancl, so Waukesha County prosecutors claim, is said to have not only posed as a number of females using Facebook but managed by so doing to entice teenage boys into sending naked photographs and videos of themselves to him. Hell, we all know how much teens just love posting naked photos of themselves online. Once they had done that, it is alleged, he then used the photos and videos as leverage in order to extort sexual favours even though he was aware that no less than six of them were under the age of sexual consent.

Of course, it is not illegal to pose as a woman, or indeed a man, on Facebook or any other social networking site. However, being in possession of child pornography (naked photos of under age boys) and soliciting sex with minors most certainly is. Add into the mix that Stancl was also expelled from school after being accused of making bomb threats to teachers by email late last year and this confused teen is looking at a potential 300 years in prison if found guilty.

About the Author

As Editorial Director and Managing Analyst with IT Security Thing I am putting more than two decades of consulting experience into providing opinionated insight regarding the security threat landscape for IT security professionals. As an Editorial Fellow with Dennis Publishing, I bring more than two decades of writing experience across the technology industry into publications such as Alphr, IT Pro and (in good old fashioned print) PC Pro. I also write for SC Magazine UK and Infosecurity, as well as The Times and Sunday Times newspapers. Along the way I have been honoured with a Technology Journalist of the Year award, and three Information Security Journalist of the Year awards. Most humbling, though, was the Enigma Award for 'lifetime contribution to IT security journalism' bestowed on me in 2011.

ugh...I think a simple "watch out for facebook wierdos" would have sufficed =/

I think parents need to take responsibility for what their kids are doing online. I realize it's not easy, but there are ways to restrict access and to monitor. And it all starts with communication. I recommend this ebook about online predators, which has helped me communicate with my teens -

He's a sicko-but life in prison? That's a little over the top. And by a little, I mean extremely.

woooooooooooooooooooow thats crepy from this gys point of vieu wtf preditors have scooped to a lower levle wow.


commented: Useless dribble -4

malicious behavior is malicious behavior...this doesn't sound like "opps, sorry that's not what I intended". Age is not the issue...