Man in Marion, Ill. is arrested for convincing teenage girls in three states to send him nude photos while posing as a teenage girl
EXETER – An Illinois man was arrested last week for sexually exploiting teenage girls in Exeter, the state of Illinois and South Dakota.
On May 5, Illinois State Police arrested Joshua Bloodworth, 19, of Marion, Ill. for posing as a female juvenile and convincing teenage girls in three states to send him naked photos of themselves, which he threatened to blackmail them with if they did not send more.
The Exeter Police Department first received a report from a 16-year-old girl in January after she had been contacted by an unknown person through a popular phone app. Bloodworth posed as a 16-year-old girl and began chatting with the girl through the app. Bloodworth sent nude photos of a teenage girl and then convinced the Exeter girl to send nude photos of herself.
After receiving the pictures, the suspect then demanded the victim send more explicit photos or else he would send the previous nude pictures to friends and family. The victim feeling threatened and without options, complied with the demands. All of this transpired in only a matter of hours from the initial contact.
Exeter PD detectives began their investigation and served multiple search warrants. They were able to identify Bloodworth as the suspect and began working with investigators from the Internet Crimes Against Children Taskforce (ICAC), officers from multiple agencies throughout the United States, as well as foreign countries dedicated to finding and arresting suspects who prey on children through the internet.
ICAC search warrants were obtained and served by Illinois State Police in Williamson County at Bloodworth’s home where the found evidence connecting the suspect with this case, and identified several other victims as well, including teenage girls in Illinois and Watertown, S.D. ICAC Investigators contacted the suspect and took him into custody.
“Sadly, this case is but one example of how predators use technology to locate and take advantage of children,” the Exeter Police Department said in a released statement. “It is essential that parents/guardians speak with their children regarding the dangers presented by online predators, and provide strategies that can be used to help prevent becoming a victim.”
Bloodworth is currently in the Williamson County Jail. No additional information was released as of press time. Anyone with additional information regarding Bloodworth is asked to call Illinois State Police DCI Zone 7 at 618-384-0723.
Less than a week earlier, Exeter officers arrested another man, 31-year-old Rejolio Alonzo, on child pornography charges. With the assistance of Woodlake and Farmersville police officers, Exeter PD served a search warrant at Alonzo’s Exeter home on April 28 as part of an ongoing investigation into child pornography. During the search, officers located a small amount of drugs, believed to be methamphetamine, and numerous electronic devices.
Detectives contacted and arrested Alonzo who was booked into the Tulare County Jail on charges of possession of child pornography, possession of a controlled substance, and child endangerment.