Miss Teen USA Cassidy Wolf Targeted in Sextortion Photo Plot, High School Classmate Arrested
Bittersweet justice is served. Six months after telling authorities that she was being targeted in a sextortion scheme, Miss Teen USA Cassidy Wolf can finally put a face -- and a very familiar name -- to her anonymous blackmailer. On Thursday, Sept. 26, 19-year-old Jared James Abrahams of Temecula, Calif., was arrested and charged with extortion and cybercrimes for allegedly hacking into Wolf's computer and taking nude photos of her through her webcam, which he then threatened to release unless she complied with his demands.
According to CNN, Abrahams "voluntarily agreed to speak" with FBI agents after authorities obtained a search warrant for his home in June. He reportedly admitted to the charges against him and said he controlled 30 to 40 "slave computers."
"There wasn't just one victim," FBI agent Bill Lewis told the Today show. "There were multiple victims in the state of California, throughout the United States, and even internationally. Some were as young as 16 years old."
Wolf, who also hails from Temecula, said on Thursday that she recognized her alleged blackmailer when his name and photo were released on Thursday. The two were classmates (but not friends) at Great Oak High School.
"It's weird for me to be able to put a face to the person who did this to me and to know that it was somebody I went to high school with," she told Today's Savannah Guthrie on Friday, one day after Abrahams' arrest.
"I'm very relieved," she added. "I'm glad they were able to find who the person is, but on the other hand, it was somebody that I went to high school with. He was young, my age, and I just think it's sad that he chose to do this and has now kind of put himself in this big dilemma."
The pageant queen, crowned Miss Teen USA in August, even went so far as to say she feels a little sorry for Abrahams. "I don't think he realizes the consequences and the people that he hurt," she told Guthrie of her accused blackmailer, who is a computer science college student. "He terrorized me and many girls for so long, and I just think that now it's coming to real life for me as well that this person did this to me."
Abrahams is currently out on $50,000 bail, the Today show reports. He has been placed on house arrest and is prohibited from using the internet.