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Fmr. Substitute Teacher Pleads Guilty To 'Sextortion Scheme' Involving More Than 10 Minors

MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) -- A 25-year-old Burnsville man and former substitute teacher has pleaded guilty to allegedly victimizing more than 10 minors as part of a "years-long sextortion scheme," according to federal prosecutors.

On Tuesday, the U.S. Attorney's Office for the District of Minnesota announced that Mitchell Ottinger specifically pleaded guilty to two counts of production and attempted production of child pornography and one count of interstate communication with intent to extort.

mitchell ottinger
Mitchell Ottinger (credit: US Attorney's Office)

The former substitute teacher and paraprofessional obtained sexually explicit images and videos of minors and adults by using false online personas, according to court documents. He then threatened to release the images and videos in order to extort more images and videos from the victims.

"Over the course of several years Ottinger victimized more than 10 minors, some of whom he knew from the school district where he worked," the U.S. Attorney's Office said in a release.

Law enforcement began investigating the sextortion when one of the victims alerted the FBI's National Threat Operations Center.

It's believed that there may be additional victims of the sextortion scheme. Anyone with information about the matter is asked to call the FBI Minneapolis Division at 763-569-8000.

A sentencing date for Ottinger has not yet been set.

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