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CHEYENNE, Wyo. - An Iowa man pretending to represent a modeling agency persuaded a Wyoming girl to send him sexually explicit videos of herself over the Internet, according to federal prosecutors.

Gabriel Simmons, 29, faces arraignment in federal court in Cheyenne on Monday on a felony charge of production of child pornography.

Cory Dunne, a federal agent assigned to the Wyoming Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force, filed a sworn statement in court last month to support his request for an arrest warrant for Simmons. The statement quotes a witness as saying Simmons is from the Onawa, Iowa, area.

According to Dunne's statement, the task force began investigating Simmons in July after the 15-year-old girl contacted Cheyenne police.

The girl told investigators she had been communicating on the Internet for up to a year beforehand with a person she understood was an employee of an unspecified modeling agency.

The girl said she had sent explicit pictures and videos to the person. She said the person had promised her money and a modeling contract in exchange, but had provided neither.

When the girl told the person that she didn't want to send any more materials, the person threatened to send the pictures and videos she had already sent to the girl's family and school, Dunne wrote.

Dunne stated that he got a federal search warrant that allowed him to get information from an Internet service provider about the e-mail account where the girl had sent the materials. Dunne concluded that Simmons held the account and had solicited and received the materials.

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James Barrett, a federal public defender in Cheyenne, represents Simmons and declined comment on the case.

John Powell, spokesman for the U.S. Attorney's Office in Cheyenne, also said his office had no comment.

 

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