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Plea Deal In Pembroke Pines Sexting Case

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FT. LAUDERDALE (CBSMiami) – A Pembroke Pines man accused of coercing teenage girls to send nude pictures of themselves and then blackmailing them into having sex with him has cut a deal with prosecutors.

During the second day of his trial in federal court in Ft. Lauderdale, 20-year old Benjamin Rand agreed to plead guilty to possessing child pornography and using a computer to attract a child into sexual activity in exchange for a 20 year sentence, according to the Sun-Sentinel.  Rand was looking at potential life sentence if he was convicted during his trial.

According to federal prosecutors, Rand had a history of texting underage girls, convincing them to send him explicit pictures to his cell phone and then forcing them to do whatever he wanted in exchange of keeping the pictures private.

In 2008, when Rand was 17, he plead no contest to charges that he pressured three girls into sending him explicit pictures and then using them against them.  He was sentenced to 17 months in juvenile detention. According to federal prosecutors days after being released he started texting one of the victims.

Rand will be formally sentenced by U.S. District Judge James I. Cohn on January 27.

(TM and © Copyright 2011 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2010 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.  The Sun-Sentinel contributed to this report.)

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