Two Nigerian brothers accused of driving an American teen to suicide over a sextortion plot have pleaded not guilty in federal court.
Samuel Ogoshi, 22, and Samson Ogoshi, 20, were arraigned on Thursday in US District Court in Marquette. The brothers were extradited to the US earlier this year after being accused by American prosecutors of posing as a woman and tricking 17-year-old Jordan DeMay into sending explicit photos.
The men allegedly blackmailed DeMay in March 2022 and told him they would send his nudes to his friends and family if he didn’t send them $1,000. DeMay killed himself just six hours after he was first contacted by the Ogoshis and a third man whose extradition is still pending.
Both Ogoshis face charges of conspiracy to sexually exploit minors, distribution of child pornography and stalking. Samuel Ogoshi is also charged with sexual exploitation of a minor resulting in death and faces a minimum sentence of 30 years in prison if convicted.
US Attorney Mark Totten said in a news release that the brothers had pleaded not guilty to all the charges during their court appearance on Thursday. They are expected back in court again on 23 August for a detention hearing.
The Ogoshi brothers and Ezekiel Ejehem Robert allegedly convinced DeMay to send the explicit photos and then blackmailed him for $1,000.
“I have screenshot all ur followers and tags can send this nudes to everyone and also send your nudes to your Family and friends Until it goes viral… All you’ve to do is to cooperate with me and I won’t expose you,” Samuel Ogoshi allegedly wrote.
In a series of texts encouraging DeMay to kill himself after he only paid $300, Samuel Ogoshi allegedly responded: “Good/Do that fast/Or I’ll make you do it.”
In May, the FBI issued a national public safety alert to warn parents after seeing a tenfold increase in online sexual blackmail cases. According to the bureau, 3,000 children were victims of sextortion plots that were connected to more than a dozen suicides in 2022.