Navy sailor stationed in Belle Chasse pleads guilty to extorting sexualized images from juveniles

Biagio Ambrosino, an enlisted US Navy sailor stationed in Belle Chasse, pleaded guilty Sept. 1...
Biagio Ambrosino, an enlisted US Navy sailor stationed in Belle Chasse, pleaded guilty Sept. 1 to producing sexualized images and videos of juveniles and transmitting interstate extortion threats, the US Attorney's Office said.(KY3)
Published: Sep. 3, 2022 at 9:36 AM CDT
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NEW ORLEANS (WVUE) - An enlisted US Navy sailor stationed in Belle Chasse has pleaded guilty to producing sexualized images and videos of juveniles and transmitting interstate extortion threats aimed at pressuring them for more, federal authorities said.

Biagio Ambrosino, a 20-year-old sailor from Queens, NY, pleaded guilty Thursday (Sept. 1) at the New Orleans federal courthouse, the US Attorney’s Office said. He faces a federal prison term of 15 to 30 years on the child pornography count and up to 20 years on the extortion count when sentenced Dec. 6 by US District Judge Wendy B. Vitter.

Federal prosecutors said Ambrosino admitted to victimizing at least 11 people, including nine minors ranging in age from 10 to 17 years old. The identified victims were from eight different states and the country of Australia, and one victim had a diagnosed developmental cognitive disability and speech disability.

According to court documents, Ambrosino was stationed at the Naval Air Station Joint Reserve Base New Orleans in Belle Chasse when he ran his child exploitation scheme from August 2020-January 2022. Prosecutors said he used “several different strategies, depending on victims’ ages, cognitive ability, level of compliance and his previous knowledge of them.”

The government said Ambrosino would contact some minors through social media direct message applications, where he would “purport to be a social media mogul, and inquire whether the minor wanted ‘to be Instagram famous.’ He would then request a sexually suggestive or sexually explicit photograph to prove that the minor was serious about being famous or receiving a gift.

“Alternatively, Ambrosino would offer items of value to minors, including a camera, a lighting system, sponsorship or stuffed animals as enticements to take and send him sexually explicit pictures and videos, or to engage in sexually explicit conduct while on a video chat with him. When victims expressed reluctance to provide him sexually explicit depictions or to continue doing so, Ambrosino would extort them by threatening reputational harm or physical violence. Once Ambrosino successfully obtained sexually explicit content from a victim, he continued to demand increasingly explicit, invasive and humiliating content from his victims.”

The case was prosecuted by Assistant US Attorney Jordan Ginsberg after being investigated by the Naval Criminal Investigative Service (NCIS) with assistance from the New York Police Department.

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