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Teen gets 10 years probation in online sex extortion case

Teen gets 10 years probation in online sex extortion case

Taylor Pierre must register as a sex offender
Teen gets 10 years probation in online sex extortion case
Taylor Pierre, center, in court Tuesday
Photographer: Jake Lahut/Gazette reporter

Correction: An earlier version of this story incorrectly stated that Pierre was a member of the Clifton Park Fire Department. He is a former member of the Rexford Fire Department, according to the public defender's office. Pierre had no connection with the Clifton Park Fire Department.

BALLSTON SPA -- A man who blackmailed young girls into sending him nude photos online was sentenced Tuesday in Saratoga County Court.

Taylor Pierre, 18, of Clifton Park, earlier pleaded guilty to possession of a sexual performance by a child, a felony, and sexual misconduct, a misdemeanor. He was originally charged with rape.

Judge James A. Murphy III cited the underlying allegations at Pierre's sentencing. Some of the victims were as young as 13. Pierre was 18 at the time of his August arrest but was 17 at the time of some of the offenses.

One of the victims, who was 14 at the time of the encounter, subsequently gave birth to Pierre’s child, according to the court proceedings.

Murphy described a “pattern of behavior” in sentencing Pierre. The judge also questioned an earlier expression of remorse by Pierre, noting that he never identified any of the negative effects of his actions for the victims. 

“There is a vast difference between a 17-year-old and a 13-year-old” in maturity and decision making, Murphy said. 

Murphy sentenced Pierre to an agreed-upon 10 years of probation. Pierre must also register as a sex offender. Pierre's risk level is to be determined at a hearing later. His internet use will also be restricted during his probation.

Pierre, a former member of the Rexford Fire Department, would speak with the younger girls online, learn sensitive information about them and then extort them into sending him nude photos, according to Assistant District Attorney Michele Schettino. Prosecutors said he used his position as a firefighter to intimidate his victims.

The father of one of the victims Pierre attempted to extort spoke briefly in court in argued Pierre deserved jail time.

Pierre spoke briefly in court and repeated several times that he was “deeply sorry." 

Left open for the judge to decide Tuesday was whether he would grant Pierre youthful offender status, which would have essentially sealed the case. Murphy rejected youthful offender status Tuesday. 

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