Geoffrey S. Berman, the United States Attorney for the Southern District of New York, announced today that MARCUS STROUD, 20, was sentenced to 13 years in prison by United States District Judge Cathy Seibel for his receipt of files containing sexually explicit images of a minor. The sentencing today followed STROUD’s guilty plea on June 5, 2017.
Manhattan U.S. Attorney Geoffrey S. Berman said: “Marcus Stroud’s crime is the nightmare of every parent. Stroud used social media platforms to prey upon and exploit a teenage boy for his own sexual gratification. As today’s sentencing underscores, we will continue to use every tool available to law enforcement to prosecute and punish those who sexually exploit children.”
According to documents filed in this case and statements made in related court proceedings:
In late December 2015, STROUD met Victim-1 at a youth wrestling tournament in Rockland County, New York. STROUD and Victim-1 connected online on SnapChat and Instagram. Thereafter, Victim-1 connected with a SnapChat user using the account name “thechsenpug.” (“Pug”). In fact, unbeknownst to Victim-1, STROUD was Pug. Purporting to be Pug, STROUD sent Victim-1 nude photos of a female and requested nude photos in return. After Victim-1 provided several nude photos, STROUD, purporting to be Pug, told Victim-1 that Pug would release the photos on social media unless Victim-1 provided a video of Victim-1 engaging in a sexual act with another person.
In January 2016, STROUD told Victim-1 that he would be willing to help Victim-1 by performing the sexual act with Victim-1 to prevent the photos from being released. On or about February 20, 2016, STROUD told Victim-1 that he had been notified that nude photos of Victim-1 had been posted on an online web page. STROUD told Victim-1 that he had been able to delete the photos. STROUD told Victim-1 that they should just do the sexual act and get it over with. Later that day, STROUD met with Victim-1 in Rockland County, New York, engaged in sexual activity with Victim-1, and recorded it. STROUD told Victim-1 that he would send the video to the female who had requested it and would put a virus on the video so that, when she opened it, STROUD would be able to take control of her phone and delete Victim-1’s photos.
In sentencing STROUD, Judge Seibel underscored the “predatory” nature of STROUD’s offense. In addition to the prison term, STROUD, 20, was sentenced to 15 years of supervised release.
Mr. Berman praised the efforts of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the Clarkstown Police Department, and the Rockland County District Attorney’s Office in connection with this investigation.
The prosecution is being handled by the Office’s White Plains Division. Assistant United States Attorney Marcia S. Cohen is in charge of the prosecution.