The Herald Bulletin

Afternoon Update

State News

June 27, 2013

Indiana 'sextortionist' gets 40-year sentence

INDIANAPOLIS — A self-confessed “sextortionist” from Indiana was sentenced to 40 years in prison on Wednesday for coercing more than a dozen teenagers into performing sex acts online.

Richard Finkbiner admitted that he tricked the young people into stripping or performing sexual acts while on a webcam, recorded those sessions and then threatened to post the videos online unless the teens made more explicit videos for his personal use. Prosecutors allege that the 40-year-old targeted hundreds of minors across the country, some as young as 12 years old.

“For nearly two years, this man sat in front of his home computer and orchestrated a scheme that terrorized hundreds of young people across this country,” U.S. Attorney Joe Hogsett said in a prepared statement.

Finkbiner, who lives in Brazil, Ind., agreed in January to plead guilty to child exploitation, extortion and possession of child pornography in exchange for a recommended sentence of 30 to 50 years in prison. He also was ordered to pay $70,000.

In sentencing Finkbiner, U.S. District Judge William T. Lawrence noted that scores of his underage victims had not been identified. The alleged victims ranged in age from 12 to 17 and lived in at least 11 states — Indiana, West Virginia, Iowa, Wisconsin, Ohio, New York, Michigan, Illinois, Colorado, Minnesota and Alaska.

Prosecutors said a review of Finkbiner’s email and chat logs showed at least 153 victims, including 20 identified by investigators. Investigators who analyzed electronic media seized from him revealed more than 22,000 video files captured from webcam feeds, about half of which depict sexual conduct, according to court documents.

“The sheer number of individuals Finkbiner exploited and extorted justifies a sentence Finkbiner is almost certain not to outlive,” prosecutors argued in court documents.

Finkbiner’s attorney, chief federal public defender Monica Foster, said Finkbiner had been a law-abiding citizen for 40 years, until he “fell off the edge” due to untreated mental illness.

Text Only
State News
  • NWS - HB0420 - FEMA Kokomo Flooding 03 FEMA’s disaster decisions frustrate state, local leaders FEMA denied the state’s request to declare a “major disaster” after tornadoes swept Indiana last November, despite millions of dollars in damages. The decision prompted protests from Indiana’s Congressional delegation, and it stoked growing frustrations with FEMA, especially in the Midwest.

    April 20, 2014 5 Photos

  • Miami Correctional 06.JPG Indiana county worried about new law's impact

    A new law revamping the state's criminal code has sparked concerns in northeastern Indiana's Allen County that it will saddle the county with new costs and fill up the local jail.

    April 19, 2014 1 Photo

  • NWS - HB0216 - Mitch Daniels Purdue office Daniels joins 2016 presidential debate commission

    Mitch Daniels spurned calls to run for the White House in 2012, but the Purdue University president will have a hand in the 2016 race.

    April 19, 2014 1 Photo

  • SPT - HB0419 - County track - 116 Arabians sweep track titles again Beautiful sunshine and warm temperatures greeted the competitors at the Madison County track meet Friday at Madison-Grant. The Pendleton Heights boys and girls teams were looking to take the county for the third year in a row, but Anderson and Lapel had other ideas. It started off as a record-setting meet and finished with a bang as Pendleton was able to wrap up both titles. The girls held off a stiff challenge from Lapel to win 167.5-147, and the boys took the final event of the night to squeak out a 156.5-148.5 win over Lapel.

    April 19, 2014 2 Photos

  • news_southwest.jpg Flight lands safely in Indiana after threat

    An Indianapolis airport spokesman said a Southwest Airlines flight safely made an emergency landing after the airline received some kind of threat.

    April 18, 2014 1 Photo

  • Indianapolis police officer kills ex-wife, self

    Authorities say an Indianapolis police officer shot and killed his estranged wife, also an officer, and then turned the gun on himself.

    April 18, 2014

  • Leaders await decision on Indiana Plan expansion

    Two of the state's top Republican lawmakers said Tuesday that they would like to see the federal government sign off on an expansion of Medicaid through the state's health care plan for low-income residents, but they added that they have little idea how soon that could happen.

    April 16, 2014

  • 3 killed in I-65 backup from chemical tanker crash A man and two of his children died after he dropped his wife off at an airport, their vehicle rear-ending a semitrailer on a backed-up Interstate 65 in rural northwest Indiana, authorities said.

    April 15, 2014

  • Putnam County deputy charged with lying to grand jury

    Federal prosecutors say a grand jury has charged a central Indiana reserve sheriff's deputy with lying to it in connection with the investigation of another deputy.

    April 15, 2014

  • Indianapolis-San Francisco flights have good start

    New nonstop flights between Indianapolis and San Francisco have been filling up with passengers during their first months in the air.

    April 15, 2014

Staff Photos


We're looking for your photos! Share your photos of your favorite people, places and Madison County events in our September reader photo gallery. Click here to upload your photos

Hyperlocal Search
Premier Guide
Find a business

Walking Fingers
Maps, Menus, Store hours, Coupons, and more...
Premier Guide