Thousand Oaks Man Sentenced to 1 Year for Felony ‘Sextortion’ Scheme

District Attorney Gregory D. Totten announced that on July 6, 2017, Superior Court Judge Bruce A. Young sentenced Sean Anthony Melford (DOB 02/15/94), of Thousand Oaks, to serve 365 days in jail for attempting to extort two women into sending him intimate photographs and for possessing child pornography.  In May 2017, Melford pleaded guilty to felony attempted extortion, possession of child pornography, and misdemeanor unauthorized distribution of sexual images.  This case was the result of an investigation by the Ventura County Sheriff’s Office and the Southern California High Tech Task Force.

Melford knew both of his victims.  In April 2015, Melford hacked into the first victim’s Snapchat account and obtained intimate photographs.  He then posted them on social media sites.  Melford posed as someone the victim did not know and demanded that the victim post intimate images on the Kik app. During the fall of 2016 Melford, again posing as someone else, repeatedly threatened the first victim that if she did not send him more intimate photos he would further disseminate her photographs.  When she did not comply, he followed through on his threat.  When the Sheriff’s Office executed a search warrant on Melford’s house, investigators discovered that he had been extorting a second victim for intimate photos and accessing child pornography.

Melford was placed on formal probation for five years.  In addition to serving 365 days in jail, he is required to attend sex offender counseling, register as a sex offender, and pay restitution to the victims.


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