SPRINGFIELD, Mo. (AP) — A Missouri man who taught English in China has been sentenced to nearly 42 years in federal prison for attempting to blackmail a former student into sending him pornographic images of herself.
Curtis Baldwin, 48 contacted the 12-year-old via the WeChat message service in November 2019 after leaving his job in China and returning to Springfield, Missouri, the U.S. attorney’s office said in a news release Friday announcing the sentence.
The release said Baldwin told the girl that he had video footage that showed her engaged in sexually explicit conduct and threatened to post the video online unless she sent him additional pornographic images and a video.
The girl's father saw the messages and contacted the language school. The school then contacted the FBI.
Federal agents executed a search warrant at Baldwin's home in March 2020 and found videos that Baldwin had made of former Chinese students engaged in sexually explicit conduct. The files also contained a sexually explicit video titled “My First Project,” created by Baldwin of a minor female in Springfield, the release said.
Baldwin pleaded guilty in October to one count of sexual exploitation of a minor and one count of receiving and distributing child pornography.