Sunday, Aug 19, 2018
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Maumee man indicted after 'catfishing' scheme

A Lucas County grand jury on Monday indicted a Maumee man for what prosecutors say was a catfishing case that spun out of control.

Vaughn-Cameron-Winston

Cameron Vaughn

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Cameron Vaughn, 19, of the 2200 block of Perrysburg-Holland Road was indicted on two counts each of rape, sexual battery, extortion, and coercion, and one count of kidnapping.

Prosecutors allege that last summer Mr. Vaughn lured a Sylvania man online by posing as a young woman and encouraging the victim to send compromising images of himself. Later, Mr. Vaughn, still posing as a young woman, allegedly told the victim her “boyfriend” had learned of their relationship and threatened to put the images online if the victim did not have sex with her boyfriend.

Jeff Lingo, chief of the criminal division of the Lucas County Prosecutor’s Office, said the case is a cautionary tale for those who meet people online.

“First of all you have to be very cautious about who you correspond with, especially on social media, and secondly, don’t send anything that you might later be ashamed of, especially on social media,” Mr. Lingo said.

While the victim in this case was sent pictures of “a beautiful young girl to lure him in,” Mr. Lingo said. “You never know who’s on the other end of that transaction.”

Catfishing – a term to describe the practice of posing online as someone else to perpetuate a relationship – became widely known in 2013 when former University of Notre Dame linebacker Manti Te’o learned that the online girlfriend he believed had lived and then died from leukemia never existed at all.

Mr. Vaughn, who was initially indicted last month on two counts of rape and one count of kidnapping, is being held in the Lucas County jail on a $250,000 bond. Prosecutors said that in light of Monday’s indictment, they will ask the court to dismiss the first case.

Contact Jennifer Feehan at jfeehan@theblade.com or 419-213-2134.

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