Alex Scott Roberts
VENTURA COUNTY — The internet may be the world’s largest repository of information both vital and arcane, but it can also be the playground for the criminal and the insane.
While we can now “google” (what was once a corporate brand is now a verb) the most obscure academic research subjects with a few keystrokes, providing immediate—if sometimes questionable in terms of accuracy—data, information, and instructional materials, we can also find ourselves exposed to a wide variety of nefarious activities and to individuals bent on making us victims of their criminal behaviors.
One such case in point may well be that of 21-year-old Alex Scott Roberts, a Simi Valley resident with such a high level of social media skill that he has allegedly convinced his online contacts to send him photographs of themselves in their birthday suits.
But from the report filed by the Ventura County Sheriff’s Department Simi Valley substation watch commander, Roberts wasn’t involved in this activity for purely aesthetic purposes, but was in fact seeking some variety of sexual gratification through this activity.
Once he was in possession of a social media contact’s nude photo, he then “threatened” to post the photo across multiple social media platforms “if they did not provide him with more nude photographs of themselves.”
Once his threats were reported to law enforcement, his online activities were traced to his individual Internet Service Protocol address and he was contacted by VCSD and the Southern California High Tech Task Force detectives and taken into custody.
Roberts, who was convicted of online extortion in March of 2016 and served time for similar activities, was transported to Ventura County Jail, where he was booked on suspicion of six counts of extortion, two counts of child annoyance, attempted possession of child pornography, and sexual battery, with his bail set at $200,000.
Photo: Courtesy Ventura County Jail Booking