TACOMA, Wash. (AP) — A Ridgefield man has pleaded guilty to a scheme that involved enticing young teens to send him sexually explicit photos and videos over messaging apps “Kik” and “Snapchat,” according to federal prosecutors.
Joshua Henry Punt, 39, entered his plea to multiple federal felonies on Tuesday in U.S. District Court in Tacoma, the U.S. attorney for Washington said in a press release.
Punt was arrested in May 2019 and charged in Clark County Superior Court. He was charged federally in November 2019. Officials say they’ve identified victims across the country.
According to court records, Punt identified himself on social media accounts as an attractive teenager by using profile pictures of young YouTube personalities, prosecutors said. After initial communications with his victims, he would demand provocative or explicit photos or videos, prosecutors said.
Punt would copy the photos and videos and then threaten to send them to local communities, including schools, coaches and others, unless the victims met his demands, prosecutors said. It was not immediately known if Punt has a lawyer.
He pleaded guilty to production of child pornography, enticement of a minor, distribution of child pornography and advertisement of child pornography on Tuesday. He’s scheduled to be sentenced on July 26. He faces a mandatory minimum 15 years in prison and up to life in prison.