Man convicted of sextortion asked for shorter sentence
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A Brentwood man set to be sentenced next week for crimes known as sextortion asked today in a court memorandum for the statutory minimum of 15 years in prison, rather than the life sentence suggested by federal guidelines.
Russell R. Freed, 43, pleaded guilty to receipt, production and distribution of child pornography after he was caught tricking, cajoling or extorting teens into sending explicit pictures to him in the belief that he was their age.
His attorney, Ronald Hayward, wrote in a 55-page sentencing memorandum that Mr. Freed's activities began when he found the cell phone of a young woman, and it contained sexually explicit pictures. He used the phone's contacts list to seek more such pictures, not knowing that the people on the list, and others whose information he obtained through them, were minors.
Mr. Freed wasn't a child pornography collector, but rather "seemed to prefer the 'cat and mouse' game of deception and intrigue involved in duping people into sending him naked pictures of themselves," Mr. Hayward wrote.
Mr. Freed, a former Turnpike Commission civil engineer, is to be sentenced July 13 by U.S. District Judge Terrence F. McVerry.
First Published July 2, 2012 5:00 pm