A Gaithersburg, Maryland, man who flirted with teen girls online and then threatened to expose them on social media unless they handed over nude photos has pleaded guilty to federal child pornography and extortion charges.
As part of a plea agreement with federal prosecutors, 23-year-old Zhi Tian Lang admitted he threatened at least 11 girls — ranging in age from 13 to 17 — to obtain nude images and videos.
Prosecutors said Lan, who went by “Seth” on online messaging apps, obtained racy pictures of the girls — often in their underwear — from their social media accounts or by flirting with them. Lang then demanded the girls send him nude photos or he would post the original images online or send them to the people who knew the girls.
Lang admitted posting photos of some of the girls online and sent at least one photo to another person, according to prosecutors.
In all, eight of the girls handed over nude photos, prosecutors said.
Lang faces a minimum mandatory sentence of five years for receiving child pornography and a maximum of two years in prison for extortion by threat to ruin the reputation of another.
Lang will also be required to register as a sex offender.
Sentencing is scheduled for Jan. 8.