Man pleads guilty to online sextortion scheme following 8-year VBPD, Homeland Security investigation

Norfolk

NORFOLK, Va. (WAVY) — A Canadian man pleaded guilty on Thursday to arranging an online sextortion scheme as well as to the production of child pornography.

Court documents revealed that 35-year-old Marco Viscomi of Ontario was first identified in 2012. A father of two girls, 13-years-old and 17-years-old at the time, told Virginia Beach Police that his daughters had been extorted online.

From there VBPD and Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) found that the online person threatened the girls and forced them to engage in sexually explicit conduct and produce images of child sexual abuse. 

The VBPD and HSI then traced the online person to Ontario where they identified Viscomi as the person responsible. At the time, Viscomi was a 26-year-old medical student.

“Let this case serve as notice to online predators. Homeland Security Investigations began this case with the Virginia Beach Police Department more than eight years ago and didn’t relent until justice was served,” said Raymond Villanueva, Special Agent in Charge of U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s Homeland Security Investigations Washington, D.C.

“Individuals who prey on children cannot hide behind their electronic devices and screen names. We will find and arrest you and ensure you are prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law.”

As the investigation continued, it was revealed that Viscomi engaged in similar conduct against “dozens of other minor victims around the United States.”

Documents say that Viscomi was charged in federal court in the Eastern District of Virginia and arrested in Canada in July of 2012. He fought the extradition order until 2019 when Canada ordered him to return to Norfolk to face the charges.

Viscomi pleaded guilty to two counts of production of child pornography and faces a mandatory minimum of 15 years per count and a maximum penalty of 30 years in prison per count when sentenced on January 14, 2021.

“Marco Viscomi’s criminal conduct is nothing short of horrendous. Producing images of child sexual abuse is heinous and causes incalculable and unknowable harm to victims,” said G. Zachary Terwilliger, U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of Virginia.

“The actions that Viscomi engaged in are one of the most offensive and serious crimes in the entire criminal code. We will continue to shine a light on the darkest areas of the web and protect those that are unable to protect themselves.”

G. Zachary Terwilliger, U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of Virginia; Raymond Villanueva, Special Agent in Charge of U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) Washington, D.C.; and Anthony F. Zucaro, Jr., Interim Chief of Virginia Beach Police, made the announcement after U.S. Magistrate Judge Lawrence R. Leonard accepted the plea. Assistant U.S. Attorneys Attorney Elizabeth M. Yusi and E. Rebecca Gantt are prosecuting the case.

A copy of this press release is located on the website of the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of Virginia. 


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