6 Michigan teens victimized by man accused of targeting young girls for child porn, FBI says

New York man accused of enticing young girls to perform sexual acts online

HIGHLAND, N.Y. - Six Michigan teenagers have been identified as victims of a New York man who is accused of coercing young girls to commit sexual acts online, according to FBI officials.

William T. Phillips, of Highland, New York, is accused of pretending to be a teenage boy online to entice young girls into sending him nude pictures and committing sexual acts.

FBI investigators said Phillips was among a group of men who used an online site to sexually exploit preteen and teenage girls. Officials said the men pretend to be teenage boys or girls to persuade the girls to engage in explicit activities during live stream chats.

During the investigation, the FBI found more than 50 minor victims who would remove clothing, engage in sexual acts and pose for others in various chat rooms.

On April 10, FBI agents executed a federal search warrant on a man who agreed to speak with law enforcement officers. He said he was part of a group that enticed minor girls to undress, masturbate and engage in sexual acts on web cameras.

Members of the man's group would record the sexual acts and share the videos with other group members, he said.

The man said their targets were mainly girls and women ages 14-18.

He told FBI agents his group started working with another set of individuals about six months ago. The individuals would use a chat room to strategize how to convince the young girls to engage in sexual acts during live streams.

He said he remembered working with one username in particular, which agents later said was run by Phillips.

The FBI obtained login information from the website and identified 15 minor victims, six of whom live in the Eastern District of Michigan. Several of the victims were on the website while the man who spoke with FBI agents worked with his group.

Agents interviewed a 16- or 17-year-old girl on June 29, and the victim said she had consistently used the website in a room with four or five users she had believed to be teenage boys. She said the group asked her to show her naked body and touch herself while on the web camera.

She said they asked her to perform more explicit sexual acts that she declined.

The victim told FBI agents she remembered chatting most frequently with a person using a specific username. FBI agents said they later traced that username back to Phillips, in addition to the first username. She said she chatted with the person through a social media application called MyLOL.com.

FBI agents viewed the conversation with permission from the victim's parents. You can read one of the conversations in question on page seven of the court document below. WARNING: The message contain graphic and sexually explicit material.

Agents discovered the person used three different MyLOL accounts to communicate with the victim from June 27, 2015, through Feb. 28, 2017. The victim then learned that the person was not a fellow teenager and stopped communicating with him.

MyLOL was subpoenaed on July 3 for subscriber information and IP logins for the three accounts, which were linked to two addresses in Highland, New York. One on Vineyard Avenue was used through February 2017, and the other, on Toc Drive, was used between February and May 2017.

The username described by the man interviewed by FBI agents led back to the same two addresses, FBI officials said.

FBI agents executed a federal search warrant on July 27 at the home on Toc Drive. Phillips was found inside a bedroom, laying on a bed. On the floor next to him was a laptop with multiple chat rooms open on the web browser, one of which was the chat room described by the man interviewed by agents, FBI officials said.

Phillips and his cousin were the only people inside the house, and both said Phillips moved into the home around February 2017. Phillips said he previously lived on Vineyard Avenue.

Phillips' cousin said the laptop found on the floor belonged to Phillips and was not his.

Agents found numerous child pornography videos and images on the laptop. They also found a video of a man raping a minor female.

Some videos on the laptop showed young men masturbating. An FBI expert said predators often use prerecorded videos of teenage boys to convince their victims that they are actually the boys in the videos.

The court document said there is probable cause to believe Phillips has produced, attempted to produce and conspired to produce child pornography and that he coerced and enticed a minor to engage in sexually explicit conduct. He's also accused of conspiring with others to receive and access child pornography and participating in a child pornography enterprise.

You can view the full criminal complaint below. WARNING: There are sexually explicit and disturbing actions described in the document.

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