NORTH PORT, Fla. (WFLA) — A North Port man who targeted a New Jersey boy and blackmailed him into sending videos of vulgar sexual acts has been sentenced to prison.
While pretending to be a teenage girl on Discord, Shane Penczak, 45, talked to a 13-year-old boy in Winslow, N.J. for about a year, according to police.
Their chats took a dark turn when Penczak sent the boy an electronic gift card in exchange for nude photos, according to a release from Florida Attorney General Ashley Moody, whose office prosecuted the case.
After the child sent him a photo, the 45-year-old threatened to post it publicly if the boy didn’t do what he wanted. The teenager was forced to livestream his showers and perform “heinous” sexual acts on camera, according to North Port police.
The crimes were reported to Winslow Police Department on Feb. 21, 2021. Police tracked Penczak’s “xboxdiamondgirl2683” account, which contained additional messages and images of child sex abuse, to his home in North Port.
Penczak pled guilty to eight felonies, including lewd or lascivious battery, use of a child in a sexual performance, promotion of a child in a sexual performance, possession of child pornography, use of a computer to solicit illegal acts and transmission of harmful material to a minor. On Thursday, was sentenced to 13 years in prison, followed by 15 years of monitored release.
“This 45-year-old sex offender posed as a minor girl on online gaming sites to lure young boys into sending nude photographs to then blackmail the victims,” Moody said. “As a mother, I am enraged at this offender’s actions, and I implore other parents to monitor their children’s internet usage and speak to them about online safety.”
Moody recommended the following tips for parents to help keep their children safe online:
- Be aware of a child’s online activity
- Require children to make social media accounts private
- Prevent children from altering or using a fake date of birth to access sites that allow for communication with older individuals
- Explain that profiles may be altered online to appear as someone else
- Clarify that once something is sent on the internet, it never goes away
- Ensure that children know how to ask for help, even if the situation is uncomfortable
Additional online safety resources can be found on the Attorney General’s Office website.