A Ohio man awaits a preliminary hearing for “sextortion” charges relating to an Arvada, Colorado 13-year-old girl. Gregory Scott Kasarcik, 24, was extradited to Jefferson County in Colorado from his Ripley, Ohio, home after his February 4 arrest by the Brown County Ohio Sheriff’s Department.
Kasarcik is charged with three felony counts for sexually extorting the eighth-grade Colorado girl over the Internet from Ohio. The girl met the suspect on SceneKids, a youth social website. His profile claimed he was a 15-year-old boy, with the screen name “ericfringe2.” He enticed the girl to move their chat to Skype by telling her he needed help with a camera problem.
Kasarcik then convinced the girl to undress and perform sex acts for the camera by telling her he had her control of her laptop, and would blow it up if she did not do what he wanted. The girl had just received the laptop for Christmas from her grandmother. The suspect then demanded more nudity and sex acts with the threat that he would post nude pictures of the girl on the internet if she did not comply.
The victim finally told her 16-year-old sister what was happening. The sister contacted “ericfringe2” on Skype, and warned him that she would call the police if nude pictures of her sister showed up on the internet. He told her that the police would never locate him. The girls then shut off the computer and went to a neighbor’s house for help, since their mother was not at home.
Arvada police were called on January 2. Their investigators found Kasarcik in Ohio, where he lives with his mother. They issued a search warrant for the computer it is thought he used to contact the girl.
Kasarcik appeared in Jefferson County, Colorado court on March 5, 2014, and was advised of the charges against him, which include sexual exploitation, criminal exploitation, and Internet sexual exploitation. Investigators use the word “sextortion” for a threat by an online predator in another state.
The “sextortion” suspect remains in prison while awaiting his hearing.
300 pages of internet records of Kasarcik’s chat activity show that he has used this technique before. Investigators found record of an October 29, 2013 chat where he threatened to blow up another girl’s computer if she didn’t let him see her “beautiful body.”
It is believed by investigators that Kasarcik had 400 online chat friends, mostly girls under 18.
Police found that “ericfringe2” had also used the earlier versions of his screen name, including “ericfringe” and “ericfringe1.” SceneKids.com posted a warning about “ericfringe1,” so police think he may have altered his screen name to avoid detection.
According to the arrest affidavit, another girl confronted “ericfringe2” in a July 28, 2013 chat, asking him if he was the guy that said he would destroy girls’ computers if they did not send nude pictures to him. The suspect denied that he knew what the girl was talking about.
If convicted in Colorado court, Kasarcik faces up to 20 years in prison and lifetime probation. The Ohio “sextortion” suspect has a preliminary hearing scheduled for April 11, and is under $50,000 bond.
By Beth A. Balen