UPPER WEST SIDE — A man allegedly conned teenage girls he met in chat rooms to send him racy photos of themselves — and then blackmailed them into making explicit videos for him by threatening to post the photos on the web, DNAinfo New York has learned.
Adam Awadallah, 23, who lives on West 109th St., was picked up by detectives from the NYPD Special Investigations Division and charged with forcing underaged girls to enact sexual performances, according to court records obtained by “On The Inside.”
According to authorities, Awadallah initially met at least four girls, all under the age of 17, in various chat rooms. During their conversations, he managed to convince them to send photos of themselves in various stages of undress.
But as soon as he downloaded the photos, prosecutors said he quickly turned into a blackmailing predator, threatening to expose the girls' initial photos to the public if they did not do what he wanted.
“(He) recorded pictures of the girls displaying themselves nude and then threatened the girls with revealing the pictures to friends and family if they did not send him more nude photos of themselves,” prosecutors claimed in the documents.
“The girls were terrified when he threatened to let their family know and embarrass them,” a law enforcement source said.
It is not clear how the NYPD came across Awadallah’s alleged erotic scam, but after his arrest last week they discovered videos in addition to nude photos of the girls.
“A limited forensic analysis on (his) computer (showed) images of child pornography . . . and that videos were recorded by (Awadallah) using web cameras,” court records alleged.
A lawyer for Awadallah did not return a call for comment.
A woman who identified herself as his sister came to the lobby of his West 109th Street building but refused to discuss the charges.
"He's a good guy," she said, adding that he was applying for college and currently looking for a job.
Awadallah was arraigned Thursday. Prosecutors asked for $50,000 bail, but the judge released him on his own recognizance. His next court appearance is scheduled for Nov. 4.
Additional reporting by Ben Fractenburg