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United States Attorney's Office for the Eastern District of Virginia

07/29/2021 | Press release | Distributed by Public on 07/29/2021 14:20

Former Medical Student Sentenced for Online Sextortion Scheme

NORFOLK, Va. - A Canadian man was sentenced to 40 years in prison today for orchestrating an online sextortion scheme and producing images of child sexual abuse.

'The defendant repeatedly engaged in the sexual exploitation and extortion of numerous young girls using threats and fear to commit devastating crimes,' said Raj Parekh, Acting U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of Virginia. 'As this case demonstrates, we will aggressively pursue perpetrators of this unfathomable form of abuse - no matter how long it takes - to help bring a measure of justice and healing for the victims.'

According to court documents, Marco Viscomi, 36, of Ontario, was first identified by the Virginia Beach Police Department (VBPD) and Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) in 2012. In January 2012, a father of two girls, then ages 13 and 17 years old, reported to the VBPD that his daughters had been sexually extorted by someone they met online. The person online threatened the girls and forced the sisters to engage in sexually explicit conduct while he watched online from Canada. The VBPD and HSI traced the culprit to Ontario and identified Viscomi as the person responsible. Viscomi was a 26-year-old medical student at that time.

'After nearly a decade, this case is finally coming to a close because of the relentless work of law enforcement,' said Raymond Villanueva, Special Agent in Charge of U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement's Homeland Security Investigations Washington, D.C. 'Viscomi manipulated young victims into engaging in sexually explicit conduct, and then, once identified, fought tirelessly to avoid facing charges for his actions. Today, justice was served, and another child predator is behind bars.'

Additional investigation uncovered Viscomi had engaged in similar sextortion conduct with hundreds of other victims, but not all victims were able to be identified. HSI was able to identify and locate over 70 such minors, including several sets of sisters who Viscomi terrorized online. In July 2012, Viscomi was charged in federal court in the Eastern District of Virginia and arrested in Canada. He fought extradition to the United States until December 2019, when the Canadian courts finally ordered him to be extradited to Norfolk to face the charges.

Raj Parekh, Acting U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of Virginia; Raymond Villanueva, Special Agent in Charge of U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement's Homeland Security Investigations Washington, D.C.; and Paul Neudigate, Chief of Virginia Beach Police, made the announcement after sentencing by Senior U.S. District Judge Rebecca Beach Smith.

Assistant U.S. Attorneys Elizabeth M. Yusi and E. Rebecca Gantt prosecuted the case.

This case was brought as part of Project Safe Childhood, a nationwide initiative launched in May 2006 by the Department of Justice to combat the growing epidemic of child sexual exploitation and abuse. Led by U.S. Attorney's Offices and the Child Exploitation and Obscenity Section (CEOS), Project Safe Childhood marshals federal, state, and local resources to better locate, apprehend, and prosecute individuals who exploit children via the internet, as well as to identify and rescue victims. For more information about Project Safe Childhood, please visit www.justice.gov/psc.

A copy of this press release is located on the website of the U.S. Attorney's Office for the Eastern District of Virginia. Related court documents and information are located on the website of the District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia or on PACER by searching for Case No. 2:12-cr-134.