The parents of a Florida teen are suing a pastor, his family, and his church for allegedly creating and posting fake pornographic images of their teen online in an attempt to blackmail her into sending real nudes.
The suit was filed in Manatee County in April after the Manatee County Sheriff’s Office notified the family that they could not produce enough evidence to bring criminal charges against the pastor’s family.
According to the report, a Snapchat user by the name of “Eli” contacted the victim in January of 2019. The user then began sending the victim photoshopped nude images of actual photos the victim had taken with clothes on. The user then threatened to send the photos to the entire student body at Palmetto High School if she did not send them real nude photos.
The teen blocked the user, however, the user then began using other accounts to contact the teen.
The teen informed her parents about the images and they contacted the school. The school then arranged for the girl to be escorted from class-to-class by guidance counselors.
The messages stopped briefly but started up again in March of 2019. That’s when the girl’s mother created an account and added the suspect. The suspect then began describing sextual acts he would like to perform on the mother.
The user then posted the photos online and sent some of the images to the girl’s friends.
During a police investigation, authorities say they found that the messages were coming from an IP address within the home of Pastor Jason B. Lane of the Skyway Community Chapel. Authorities then went to the home and began questioning the pastor’s son, however, the pastor and his wife immediately ended the interview after realizing that police did not have a warrant and could not search their son’s phone.
After the interview, the victim says that the pastor and his family began harassing her in an effort to get them to drop the case.
The teen is suing for “unbearable shame and embarrassment, and emotional pain and suffering.”
” My client will never get her good reputation back. Her high school years are ruined in a way that is not savable. She would take great appreciation in an apology and a commitment to working on whatever led to this behavior,” Attorney David Oliver went on to say.
In response to the allegations, the pastor and his family demanded “strict proof.”