Man pleads guilty to 'sextortion' -- blackmailing women to provide lewd photos

A 22-year-old New York man pleaded guilty last week to threatening more than 30 women with posting "revenge porn" photos, prosecutors said.

Joseph Iorio, 21, of Holtsville, a New York City suburb, was arrested last July on charges relating to an alleged “sextortion” scheme, the New York Post reported.

Prosecutors say Iorio moderated a website's chat room, which featured explicit photos of women that had been submitted by men and boys, Newsday reported. Iorio would not allow clients to view the raciest material submitted by others until they disclosed names and contact information for the women in the photos the clients submitted.

Iorio would then contact the women, and threaten to share the racy photos in his possession -- unless the women provided him with even more lurid shots, the report said.

“We can only imagine the type of fear, isolation and desperation that these women must feel when they receive a message showing that someone they don’t know has an image of them naked or performing a sex act,” Suffolk County District Attorney Timothy Sini said Friday in a statement. He likened Iorio’s actions to “a modern form of sexual torture.”  

"We can only imagine the type of fear, isolation and desperation that these women must feel."

- Suffolk County District Attorney Timothy Sini

According to the Post, the DA’s office was first notified of Iorio’s alleged scheme in July 2017. A subsequent investigation revealed evidence that Iorio had uploaded the explicit images to an online forum along with the women's personal information.

If convicted, Iorio faces five years in prison, Sini said. His sentencing is scheduled for May 2.