OLIVER MCKENNA | THE DAILY EVERGREEN
A 24-year-old Georgia man was transferred to the Washington Corrections Center on Wednesday after he was sentenced to 15 months in prison for trying to extort nude photos from a WSU student in March 2019.
Jordan Bowen pleaded guilty to extortion in the second degree with sexual motivation on April 30, said Dan LeBeau, Whitman County Chief Deputy Prosecutor. Along with the sentence, Bowen also has to register as a sex offender and pay around $800 in fines.
Bowen contacted the student through a fake Instagram account on March 2, 2019, said WSU Police Sgt. Matt Kuhrt.
LeBeau said Bowen threatened to send nude photos he had obtained on the dark web to the student’s friends and family if she did not send him more photos.
“This is a crime of intimidation … this is the crime of scaring people when they’re at their most vulnerable,” LeBeau said. “I think it happens a lot more than it’s reported. In this case, she reacted very quickly and reported very quickly.”
Kuhrt said he wrote a search warrant for the Instagram account’s information on March 4, 2019. Bowen contacted the student again on March 6, 2019, and Kuhrt said he wrote up another warrant for the second account the next day.
In mid-April, the information gained from the warrants revealed that the accounts originated from the same IP address, which was found to be Bowen’s in September 2019, Kuhrt said.
In October, Kuhrt said he contacted Sgt. Chris Robinson from the Newnan Police Department in Georgia after receiving a phone number from another search warrant.
Robinson said Bowen gave him his phone after he found him. Robinson wrote a search warrant for the phone.
While looking through the phone, Robinson said he found the WSU student’s nude photos as well as what he believed were images of child pornography. He also found other images depicting sexual content.
Bowen was indicted by a superior court grand jury on Nov. 12, 2020 in Coweta County in Georgia for five felony counts of child sexual exploitation, according to an email from Matthew Swope, assistant district attorney for the Coweta Judicial Circuit’s District Attorney’s Office.
LeBeau said Bowen will probably be transferred to Georgia after his prison release to face the child pornography charges there.
The case is currently pending, Swope wrote in an email.
Kuhrt said Bowen claims he got the photos from 4chan, which is a website forum of anonymous users and postings.
“It’s just one of those that, you know, as far as the internet goes, there’s a wealth of stuff out there for people that prey on people,” Kuhrt said.
LeBeau said they are investigating how Bowen got the photos and the WSU student’s information.
Kuhrt said he received the results from Robinson on Jan. 17, 2020. On Jan. 22, 2020, Kuhrt completed his case and sent it to the Whitman County Prosecutor’s Office.
LeBeau said Bowen had no previous connection to the student, WSU or Whitman County.
“I want more people to know … law enforcement can catch these people … we can stop it,” LeBeau said. “And I would want anybody else in the community to know that you’re facing prison and sex offender registration if you commit this crime.”