CORAL SPRINGS (CBSMiami) – A Coral Springs teenager is facing a criminal charge of extortion after police say he threatened to put a topless photo of a teenage girl on the internet unless the girl paid him money.
Coral Springs Police said that Ricardo Carrion told the girl he wanted $200 or else he would publish a topless picture of her on a pornographic website. Investigators said that two years ago a 16-year-old girl had a crush on Carrion and texted him a topless photo of herself to try to get his attention.
“She made a bad choice and sent him a picture of her breasts,” Lt. Joe McHugh said. “Recently he sent her a text with the picture indicating that if you don’t give me $200 I’m gonna post the picture of her breasts all over the internet, all over pornography sites, and everything.”
CBS4’s Carey Codd tracked Carrion down Wednesday night. He didn’t want to talk about the allegations.
“The police are telling us that you told her to pay you $200 bucks or else you would put the picture on a pornographic website,” said Codd.
“I really don’t have a comment,” replied Carrion.
Police told Codd that Carrion admitted to extorting the girl after he was arrested last month at the Coral Springs restaurant where he works. “Ricardo admitted to texting (the victim) and demanding money so her picture did not get posted online,” the police report reads.
Coral Springs Police say teen sexting is a problem. So do child advocates, like Marti Wibbels, a licensed mental health counselor. Wibbels specializes in helping survivors of sexual abuse and she says teens need to be reminded that what goes out in a text message or on social media never goes away.
“The choices they make now will have repercussions,” Wibbels said. “So, for example, a text picture, a Snapchat, something sent over any form of social media is going to be out there forever.”
Wibbels also urged parents to talk to their kids about peer pressure, self-respect and making good decisions.
“You need to find values that your family holds on to,” Wibbels said. “Because if we don’t have some standard we’ll fall for anything. Parents need to be willing to say, ‘Hey, your peers aren’t the only ones who matter. Our family trumps everything.'”
Police officers have another big piece of advice for parents.
“If you’re gonna give your son or daughter a cell phone, make sure you monitor that cellphone,” McHugh said. “If they put a password lock on it, take the phone away. They’re still a juvenile.”
Several neighbors of Ricardo Carrion told CBS4 News they are surprised by the allegations against him. They said they have always known him to be an upstanding young man.