Seatle sex video chat

A Shoreline man alleged to have been part of a group of sexual predators who lured girls into exposing themselves in online chats now faces child pornography charges.

Michael Berenson was arrested Wednesday as part of an long-running FBI operation targeting a purported “sextortion” ring.

Investigators claim Berenson, 28, admitted to blackmailing girls he and his associates had duped into making sexually explicit videos.

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“The defendant confessed to threatening and exploiting minors into engaging in self-exploitation and then recording (or) producing child pornography videos of the acts,” Senior Deputy Prosecutor Cecelia Gregson said in charging papers.

“Without a doubt the defendant has evidenced the threat he poses to community safety, most specifically minor children.” According to charging papers, FBI agents arrested a member of a ring in November 2015 during a child pornography investigation.

That man told agents he was part of a group that used a private video chat website to sexually exploit girls.

The man said members of the group took on discrete roles in the scheme, an FBI special agent said in court papers.

Their shared goal was to get girls to expose themselves on camera in the video chats.

Some sought out girls on social media networks, while others talked them into accessing the private chat room.

Some men in the group contributed to the scheme by playing recordings of other children who had been “dared” to disrobe on camera, to convince victims they were interacting with other kids.

Still others acted as security, hoping to keep undercover police out.

After the 2015 arrest, agents infiltrated the chats and set about identifying other members of the group.

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