CINCINNATI (AP) — An Ohio man lied about having cancer while coercing teen girls in five states into exposing themselves to him online, including one whom he persuaded to mutilate herself and act as his "slave," the FBI said.
A federal grand jury this week indicted Nicholas Kurtz, 21, of the Cincinnati suburb of Clearcreek Township, on two counts of coercion and enticement. One charge involves trying to get individuals to engage in prostitution or other criminal sexual activity and the second alleges trying to get individuals under age 18 to commit sexual offenses.
He pleaded not guilty to all charges Thursday. A magistrate ordered that he remain held in custody.
The FBI said it began investigating Kurtz last year with Wisconsin authorities and local police in Cross Plains after a 14-year-old girl there told police that Kurtz was threatening to rape and kill her if she didn't continue doing as he demanded, including self-mutilation.
Authorities said they obtained Instagram records that showed threatening messages from Kurtz to the girl, including threats to "damage her reputation if she did not continue their relationship" by posting nude photos of her on social media, Special Agent Andrea Kinzig wrote in an affidavit.
The investigation led to similar situations involving juvenile girls in Maryland, Michigan, New York and Virginia that he interacted with on Skype and other online media, according to the affidavit.
"Kurtz made a number of threats to the females .... threatening to kill himself and threatening to send their nude photographs to their friends," Kinzig said. "Kurtz also made a number of false representations about himself, such as telling the females that he had cancer, lived in foster care, and was younger than he actually was."
Kurtz's attorney didn't respond immediately Thursday to a message seeking comment.