Man in Facebook blackmail case pleads ‘not guilty’
THE 24-year-old man accused of blackmailing a 16-year-old Filipino-Japanese girl by threatening to post her seminude photos in Facebook pleaded not guilty to charges of grave threat and child abuse.
John Jayson Antonio was arraigned before Cebu City Regional Trial Court Judge Esther Veloso of Branch 6 yesterday.
Antonio, who was detained at the Cebu City Jail, was arrested in an entrapment operation last March 6 after the girl sought the assistance of National Bureau of Investigation in Central Visayas (NBI-7).
According to the victim, Antonio demanded that she pay him P15,000 or have sex with him so that her photos wouldn’t be uploaded on the Internet.
Cebu City Assistant Prosecutor Mario Ley Gidayawan earlier in his resolution said that the act of threatening the victim would qualify as child abuse.
Antonio earlier told NBI-7 agents that he made up all the stories to extort money and demanded sexual favors from the victim.
Antonio’s mother, a private high school teacher, is the victim’s school adviser.
NBI Agent Bernard dela Cruz said that Antonio used aliases such as Jhenrick de Jesus, Hayumi Zayura and Derick to cover his identity while contacting the victim.
The victim said that Antonio then using the name Hayumi told her that she would help her in her modeling career if she would e-mail her semi-nude photos to him.
PAY 10,000 FOR PHOTOS
The teenager sent the photos to Antonio’s iphone on Nov. 2011 and told the victim that she lost the phone.
She later got a text message asking her to pay P10,000 for her photos.
Last January, she got a Facebook message from a certain “Jhenrick de Jesus” asking her to give him his digital camera in exchange for her photos.
The victim eventually agreed to pay P15,000.
On the day of the meet-up, the NBI set up an entrapment operation in the designated meeting place, Ayala Center Cebu.
Seminude photos of the victim were recovered by the NBI from Antonio’s USB after he was caught.
The pretrial conference will happen on August 7. /UP Intern Peter L. Romanillos
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