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Man posed as teen lesbian to snare girl's nude photos

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A Maryland man has admitted he posed as a teenage lesbian to trick a 15-year-old girl he met online into sending him sexually explicit photos.

Michael Speelman, 52, of Adelphi, Maryland, went on to feign the suicide of "Lisa Stauffer" - his teenage lesbian alter ego - after she and the victim had established a romantic relationship. In online chats with the victim, Speelman then pretended to be the mother of his deceased alter ego and threatened to make the explicit photos public.

The threats continued even after the victim said she now had a boyfriend and was "moving on" with her life.

FBI agents searching Speelman's home recovered 38 nude pictures of the girl, who was identified only by the initials C.M. They also found other child pornography, including 10 movie clips of pre-pubescent minors and 10 explicit pictures that appeared to be self-produced by a girl estimated to be between 12 and 15 years old.

The confession is the latest cautionary tale to highlight the hazards of online chat involving teens. A few weeks ago, a Massachusetts man in his 40s was accused of posing as a 17-year-old boy to convince girls to send him nude videos of themselves. After a 14-year-old girl complied, Lawrence Joseph Silipigni Jr., of Saugus, Massachusetts posted the sexually explicit video online, where it eventually came to the attention of his victim.

Speelman pleaded guilty to transportation and shipment of child pornography in US District court in Maryland. He faces five to 20 years in prison and lifetime supervision. Sentencing is scheduled for February 8. ®

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