MUSCATINE, Iowa — A Missouri man has been issued the maximum sentence for cyberstalking and extorting explicit material out of two teenage girls from Muscatine.
On Thursday, July 7, Chad Craghead, a teacher and coach at a middle school in Fulton, Missouri, was sentenced to 30 years in prison, the U.S. Attorney's Office in the Southern District of Iowa announced in a press release.
Craghead was arrested in June 2021 after he was caught blackmailing nude photographs from two 16-year-old girls in Muscatine.
Craghead posed online as a teenage boy and got explicit photos of the first victim before creating a second identity, which he used to extort more photos by threatening to release the pictures to her family. He continued this pattern for several months.
Sometime later, the victim's cousin, also a 16-year-old girl, tried to intervene, but Craghead responded by threatening to release the photos if the cousin didn't also send naked pictures. He was successful in soliciting photos from the cousin.
In the investigation, the FBI found more instances across the country of Craghead's sextortion tactics, using several Snapchat accounts to solicit explicit material from girls and blackmail them with it. Some victims were as young as 12 and 13.
Craghead was convicted of the production of child pornography and interstate communications with intent to extort. 30 years in prison was said to be the maximum possible sentence.
Following his term in prison, he will be ordered to serve five years of supervised release and register as a sex offender.
The investigation was a collaboration between the FBI and the Muscatine Police Department. The case was prosecuted by the United States Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of Iowa as part of the U.S. Department of Justice’s “Project Safe Childhood” initiative; a nationwide project fighting the sexual exploitation of children.
Any persons having knowledge of a child being sexually abused are encouraged to call the Iowa Sexual Abuse Hotline at 1-800-284-7821 or the Illinois Child Abuse and Neglect Hotline at 1-800-252-2873..