Auburn man gets 18 years for extortion, sex-related charges

MONTGOMERY, AL (WSFA) - Investigators say 24-year-old Jonathan Wryn Vance of Auburn would pretend to be a friend or secret admirer of online acquaintances only to reveal his identity if the victims answered a series of intimate, personal questions.

Now he's going to prison for 18 years for his internet crimes.

Once Vance had intimate information on the girls he would threaten to ruin their reputations if they didn't meet his demands. Access to the victims' online social networking accounts at sites like MySpace and Facebook, as well as nude photos or videos of the victims were his goals.

He threatened as many as 50 girls and young women from Alabama, Missouri and Pennsylvania through his computer. The crimes stretched over a two year period between 2006 and 2008.

Sentencing was handed down Thursday, three months after Vance pleaded guilty to the 34 criminal counts against him. U.S. Attorney Alice Martin in Birmingham said "I am very pleased with the result. This defendant preyed on unsuspecting young girls and women and shamefully deceived them into trusting him. He  exploited their trust to satisfy his desires."

Vance will have to register as sex offender and pay more than $10,000 in restitution to his victims. He's also under orders not to have any unsupervised contact with children.