A man pleaded guilty to extorting a Morris County-based professional athlete with naked and sexually explicit photos, the DailyRecord reports .
Patrick M. Avognon Jr. was represented by a public defender and tested positive for marijuana at federal court in Newark Monday, when he admitted to demanding $5,600 from the athlete and threatening to post nude photos of him to a website if he failed to do so, the article says.
The victim, who was not identified, was forced to hire a lawyer and a private investigator, who turned evidence of the extortion over to law enforcement, DailyRecord says.
Authorities last April recovered the phone Avognon used to text demands to the victim from his dorm room at a Long Island college through a search warrant, according to the article.
Avognon sent the athlete a screenshot of a photo of him engaging in sexually explicit conduct that had been posted to a website. He also sent the following texts:
- “Since you won’t reply but you seem you get my messages tell him (the private investigator) to pay 5k and I’ll send him confirmation of deletion and I’ll remove the video from the internet.”
- “Tell him to stop negotiating and send that money or (a publication) will buy it and it’ll be out of my hands lol I took the video down.”’
- “Reposting the images"
A sentencing date has been scheduled for June 26.
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