UNCW students among victims in social media ‘sextortion’ case involving 40 women

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WILMINGTON, N.C. (WECT) – The man accused of using social media to try and extort racy photographs from women in the central part of North Carolina is now facing charges in the Port City.

Kevin Allen Kerney, 32, of Denton, NC, was booked into the New Hanover County Jail on Friday on three counts of cyberstalking and three counts of extortion. He’s being held under no bond as he awaits his court appearance on Monday.

Kerney was already jailed on similar charges in Guilford County following an investigation by law enforcement at the University of North Carolina at Greensboro and the High Point Police Department.

Authorities said Kerney tried to extort at least three victims in Wilmington, with two of the alleged victims being students at the University of North Carolina at Wilmington.

Kerney is accused of reaching out to females through Instagram about a modeling opportunity, identifying himself as a woman named “Kayla” and asking for personal details and photographs.

Police said Kerney would also request a series of photographs, including topless and nude pictures from the victims.

After obtaining those pictures, Kerney would then threaten to send the photographs to everyone the victim knows unless they gave him their Instagram login and password. Police say Kerney warned victims not to contact police because he wouldn’t be caught.

He was eventually arrested by UNC-Greensboro police on Jan. 9 following a three-month investigation.

WFMY reported in January that at least 40 people had come forward to UNC-Greensboro police claiming they were victims.

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