MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — A 21-year-old southern Minnesota man was sentenced to 35 years in prison for sextorting more than 40 girls, some as young as 11 years old.
Dylan Deling, of Fairmont, was sentenced to 420 months in federal prison after pleading guilty last year to producing child pornography and extortion, U.S. District Attorney for Minnesota Erica MacDonald announced Monday.
“This defendant’s victimization went beyond sexual exploitation; his ultimate goal was to instill fear and humiliation,” MacDonald said, in a statement. “This type of depraved criminal behavior will not be tolerated.”
According to investigators, Deling, who went by the names Jason Keens and Dylan Nash, used social media accounts on platforms such as Instagram, Snapchat and Facebook to solicit sexually explicit images of girls between the ages of 11 and 17. Deling would then use these images to extort the girls, threatening to send the explicit images to their parents or even physically harm them or their loved ones.
Deling often would lure the girls in via expressions of affection and gradually persuade them to send him images, officials say. During the process of extortion, Deling would sometimes send the explicit photos to the victims’ family and friends. Other times, he would threatening to have men rape, kidnap or kill the girls or their family members.
To frighten his victims, Deling would send them screenshots of maps of their home address or those belonging to loved ones. He’d also post other identifying information online, and, in one instance, obtained sexually explicit images from one of the girls’ friends.
Deling pleaded guilty in July of 2019. As part of his sentence, he’ll be under supervised release for 30 years after serving his time behind bars.