FBI searching for hundreds of teen victims in largest sextortion case ever prosecuted

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. — The FBI is looking for hundreds of teens who were victims of sexual blackmail online in a sextortion case linked to a former St. Johns County man.

Lucas Michael Chansler, 31, was arrested in 2010 and was sentenced to 105 years in prison.

The FBI said they have identified 109 victims out of a possible 350 girls.

The FBI said the 109 victims span 26 U.S. states, three Canadian provinces and the United Kingdom.

Chansler targeted girls between 13 and 18 years old, according to investigators.

“He created a living hell for them,” FBI Special Agent Larry Meyer said. “They did not know who he was. They lived in fear for many years.”

Chansler used 135 screen names with names like "Cuddly" and "Goodlookingguy" to trick the girls.

The FBI said there have been challenges identifying Chansler’s earlier victims because he did not save as much information about them, but in time he created folders for each victim on his computer.

In November 2014, Action News spoke with Ashley Reynolds, who said she was victimized by Chansler.

“I’m not going to stop until this entire nation knows about child exploitation,” Reynolds said. “The whole sexting craze that’s going on, it needs to be addressed. It needs to be a kitchen-table conversation,”

The FBI said Reynolds is now taking part in the new campaign to give Chansler’s victims a voice.

“In the words of Ashley [Reynolds], these girls need to know that he is never coming back and to get help from the trauma that he caused them,” FBI Special Agent in Charge Michelle Klimt said.

The FBI said Chansler used different tactics to convince the girls to send the sexually explicit videos and pictures.

Meyer said Chansler would talk to young girls on Stick Cam, a website similar to Skype, and take screen shots of images of them exposing themselves.

“He did a screen a capture of her exposing her breast and then used that to come back and blackmail her for more sexually explicit images,” Meyer said about one case.

In other cases, Meyer said Chansler would convince the girls that he had access to sexual photos or videos, even though he never sent anything to them.

Meyer said he would lead them to doubt themselves and question whether a computer camera could have captured the images without them realizing it.

In one case, Meyer said Chansler used the information a girl posted about herself on MySpace to threaten her.

“Chansler made her believe that he knew where she lived, where she went to school, her activities and all that and the fact that she lived with her mother and brother, and he came out and threatened her that he was going to harm her and her family if she didn’t produce for him,” Meyer said.

The FBI is urging anyone who believes they may have been victimized to call  1-800-CALL-FBI or you can complete confidential questionnaire or send a confidential email to the FBI.