A Pennsylvania woman who “catfished” a teen boy while posing as a teen girl learned her fate Monday during a court hearing in Philadelphia.
According to the United States Attorney’s Office Eastern District of Pennsylvania, 54-year-old Linda Paolini was sentenced to 35 years in prison, along with a lifetime of supervised release. She was also ordered to pay over $15,000 in fines for child pornography and enticement offenses.
The incident started in 2019 when Paolini used social media to entice a teen boy living in Florida. According to court documents, Paolini over 50,000 messages with the boy within a few months timespan. While posing as a teen girl and using her own daughter’s photos, Paolini encouraged and persuaded the boy to send videos of himself masturbating.
Further, Paolini told the victim she planned to commit suicide and urged him to take part in a suicide pact with her. The boy ultimately didn’t take part in the suicide pact.
Paolini admitted that she had similar conversations with at least two other underage boys.
“This defendant’s criminal conduct was so heinous and cold-hearted that it almost defies description,” First Assistant U.S. Attorney Williams said.
“She maliciously manipulated a child into making and sending her pornography of himself. But that was not enough for this defendant. She then manipulated the vulnerable child into attempting suicide. As a result of this prosecution and today’s sentencing, she will be behind bars for decades and will no longer pose a danger to other children.”
The FBI started investigating Paolini after someone left a phone tip about her online behavior.
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[Featured Photo via Pixabay]