Where is the Cyber Sextorter Ryan Vallee Today? – Belmont, New Hampshire, is a typical small old mill town where, due to its indisputably small population and even fewer things to do, everyone seems to know everyone. As a result, when crime in the neighborhood leaped straight from opiate use or petty crimes to sextortion, as detailed in episode 4 of Netflix’s ‘Web of Make Believe,’ it came as a complete shock. So, if you’re interested in learning more about the tech-savvy local Ryan J. Vallee, who was behind the awful cyberattack designed solely to harass young females, we’ve got you covered.
What is Sextortion?
Sextortion is a crime in which a victim is blackmailed. Unless the victim pays up or performs in further sexual activities, the extortionist threatens to share photographs, videos, or information about the victim’s sexual interests. The culprit will usually threaten to reveal the sexual content to the victim’s family, coworkers, friends, and other contacts. The content might also be shared on a huge (pornographic) online site.
In general, sextortioners know how to instill dread in their victims. They could display photos or a screenshot of a particularly explicit chat. Furthermore, they frequently peruse the victim’s social media sites to learn about their family and friends. In other words, they’ll tell the victim that they can ruin their reputation (in front of their loved ones) at any time-even if this is frequently a falsehood.
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Ryan Vallee, Who is he?
Ryan Vallee was a teenager (16 or 17) when he decided to gratify his sexual desires by chatting with females on Facebook before forcing them to give him sexually explicit images. Around this time in high school, he was not only an outcast, but he was also acting out, either by not respecting the educators or by inciting fist fights even though he “wasn’t a tough kid.”
However, the truth is that he didn’t create a lasting impression on the bulk of his colleagues, at least not in person or under his own name, because he preferred to remain to himself most days.
Ryan took on aliases such as Seth Williams and occasionally even James McRow when his attempts to talk to girls his age on social media as his awkward self failed. Before sending out friend invitations, he double-checked that their profile images were pleasant and outdoorsy, focusing on people he knew from Belmont High. From there, he began paying close attention to his chosen targets in order to acquire their trust, learn personal information, and exchange phone numbers before turning into a much more aggressive mode.
When the girls resisted or fought him, Ryan threatened them in the most heinous manner possible. He hacked into their accounts remotely and threatened to ruin their lives if he didn’t obtain what he wanted by publishing the pornographic photographs they’d already provided or those he’d discovered on their email. He actually followed through on promises, going so far as to order “things of a sexual nature” for a victim from her own Amazon account to verify that he knew her address.
Ryan did it everything, from pretending he’d show up in person to take what he wanted to actually mailing the intimate photographs to his other victims and creating false Facebook identities with the same information. He even threatened to forward them to the girls’ friends and coworkers, but several of them gradually regained control by alerting their parents and reporting the harassment to the police. Because Ryan utilized both spoofing and anonymous SMS services, it took a long time for the authorities to track him down and indict him, but it finally happened when he was 21.
What Happened to Ryan Vallee and Where Is He Now?
Ryan was released on bail pending trial because he never admitted to any wrongdoing, but he was detained again when it was discovered that he was still preying on young women. This time, however, a smartphone seized from his rucksack showed that he was a serial cyberstalking predator. He was apprehended after a high-speed chase for breaking his release conditions. According to federal investigators, Ryan sought to take advantage of at least 23 identifiable victims between 2011 and March 2016.
Ryan’s defense team tried unsuccessfully to claim that his autistic spectrum diagnosis, along with weak communication abilities, changed the situation because it implied he didn’t know what he was doing. As a result, he pleaded guilty to a total of 31 counts, including 13 counts of making interstate threats, eight counts of extortion computer hacking, eight counts of aggravated identity theft, one offence of computer hacking to steal information, and one count of cyberstalking.
In 2017, the then 23-year-old was sentenced to the prosecutor’s proposed eight years in federal prison, but on January 20, 2022, he was released from a Massachusetts facility. As a result, Ryan appears to be avoiding the spotlight at the moment.