A Forsyth County man has been arrested for allegedly soliciting child pornography from teenage girls on Snapchat.
Edward Okenica, 23, of Cumming, allegedly solicited nude photographs and videos from dozens of teenage girls across the country using a Snapchat account since at least November of 2018, according to the U.S. Attorney’s Office. Okenica successfully persuaded the minors and in some instances offered to pay them.
Okenica is also alleged to have threatened to publicly expose three victims if they refused to send him the nude photographs and videos, in one case threatening a 12-year-old girl to send nude photographs of her to her friends on Instagram if she didn’t comply.
“The allegations in this case are heinous, but it also serves as a reminder that parents must be aware of their children’s social media activity,” said U.S. Attorney Byung J. “BJ” Pak in a statement. “Predators continue to prey on our youth through social media more than any other method.”
Okenica was arrested on Aug. 14 and made his initial appearance before U.S. Magistrate Judge Janet F. King.
Assistant U.S. Attorneys Alex R. Sister and Erin Sanders are prosecuting the case.
The case is being investigated by the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s Homeland Security Investigations and the Forsyth County Sheriff’s Office.
The case is being brought as part of Project Safe Childhood, according to the U.S. Attorney’s Office, a nationwide initiative started in February 2006 to protect children from online exploitation and abuse.