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Local

Police: Cortland man made child porn from video chat

Thomas Holbrook
Thomas Holbrook

SYCAMORE – A 43-year-old Cortland man has returned to DeKalb County to face allegations that he created child pornography after resolving a blackmail case in Kansas.

Thomas Holbrook, of the 100 block of West Benson Avenue, is accused of convincing a local teenage girl to appear in a pornographic computer video chat and recording the chat session, court records show. He recorded the video chat without the girl’s knowledge in August, court records show.

Holbrook was taken to DeKalb County Jail on Sunday after being sentenced to a year of probation for making false information and unlawful acts concerning computers in Kansas.

Authorities had said he blackmailed a woman he met in Illinois into making a pornographic video for him after she moved to Dodge City, Kan., in May 2012. Holbrook had created fake online identities to interact with the woman, who had ended romantic relationship with Holbrook after two dates.

Using one of his fake identities, Holbrook convinced the woman to send nude photographs of herself to him. He later threatened to email those photographs to her mother’s business contacts unless she created a porn video of herself and her fiancé for him, authorities said. The woman complied.

On March 7, the Kansas judge also ordered Holbrook to have a mental health evaluation and to have no contact with the woman.

Cortland police arrested Holbrook about 11 p.m. on Feb. 10 in connection with the criminal case in Kansas, and DeKalb County Sheriff’s police searched his home in Cortland the next day, authorities said. Holbrook was charged in connection with one video, but DeKalb County authorities are continuing their investigation to see if there are more images and victims.

Holbrook remained in DeKalb County Jail on Monday unable to post 10 percent of his $250,000 bond. He is due in court Thursday.

If convicted of producing child pornography, Holbrook could be sentenced to between six and 30 years in prison. He’s also accused of possession of child pornography, which typically is punishable with up to seven years in prison.

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