KEY WEST, Fla. -- The search for a cyber stalker and blackmailer of college sorority pledges at universities in the Southeast led police to Key West, Fla., where a 27-year-old chef was arrested Thursday, Key West police said.
Mitchell W. Hill, 27, was arrested on a Louisiana warrant for two cases of video voyeurism, two counts of extortion and 12 counts of attempted video voyeurism. Police also had a search warrant and confiscated the computer at his residence.
He was taken to the Monroe County Detention Center, where he spent the night.
Monroe County Assistant State Attorney Mark Wilson said Hill cannot be extradited until authorities resolve Hill's arrest last January for driving under the influence with property damage. Police say Hill blew a .18 after losing control of his pickup truck and striking a telephone poll and chain link fence. The pretrial conference for that case is scheduled for Jan. 31.
The video voyeurism case began Oct. 5, when a female student at Louisiana State University told college police she was being stalked on Facebook. A second female came forward with the same complaint on Oct. 6.
"At that point LSU investigators thought there more victims that could be targeted and we sent out an e-mail to all female students associated with Greek organizations," said Sgt. Blake Tabor, spokesman for the LSU Police Department.
Nine more students came forward with similar stories that a person on Facebook was demanding inappropriate materials such as naked photographs and webcam transmissions of them posing nude, he said.
LSU investigators contacted Facebook administrators to acquire IP addresses and screen names being used.
"When we received the list of addresses and names we realized the victims were not just at LSU," Tabor said. "At that point we took an aggressive approach and contacted other universities."
It became a national story when Florida State freshman Ashley Atchison went on the NBC's "Today" show on Dec. 2 to describe how she had been terrorized online so much that she dropped out of school.
Atchison explained how the online stalker who posed as a former sorority sister named "Lexie" demanded she pose nude and also take off her underwear and stuff them in her mouth.
Hill allegedly told the victims if they didn't comply, they would be kicked out of the sorority. He reportedly collected a lot of personal information about the victims. It's now known how he chose the female students, which included females at the University of Florida, Auburn University and the University of Alabama.
Wilson said the Tallahassee state attorney's office is also putting together a case.
Before Hill was arrested, Tabor of the LSU police department said the case was "extremely alarming."
"We didn't know a whole lot about the suspect," he said. "There was a chance of not only being victimized over the Internet, but there was always the possibility of physical violence."
Tabor said that due to the amount of mass technology, the alleged online stalker could have been located anywhere. "It just so happens he was located in Key West," he said.
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