Philadelphia Mother Accused Of ‘Catfishing’ Underage Boys

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Linda Paolini, 44, of Philadelphia, PA, pleaded guilty to two counts of manufacturing and attempted manufacturing of child pornography, and one count of online enticement of a minor.

The charges arise out of a telephone tip received by the FBI about Paolini, who was pretending to be an underage girl for the purpose of luring underage boys online. The defendant communicated through Instagram with one particular boy, soliciting him for videos of himself masturbating. She and her victim exchanged over 50,000 Instagram messages over the course of a few months, including explicit and sexually charged chats.

“Paolini’s conduct is reprehensible, and her days of exploiting and victimizing children online are over,” said First Assistant U.S. Attorney Williams. “Child sexual exploitation is appallingly pervasive, and exacerbated by the easy availability of digital media and communications. This case serves as a message to all adults who care for children: please monitor what they do online. And as always, we stand ready with our federal partners to identify and prosecute these criminals.”

Paolini faces life imprisonment, with a mandatory minimum of at least 15 years, a mandatory term of at least 5 years but up to a lifetime of supervised release, a $750,000 fine, and $15,300 in special assessments.

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