Florida man arrested after threatening to leak politician’s topless photos

Police assumed Ms Book’s identity on social media and negotiated a face to face meeting with the alleged extortionist, resulting in his arrest

Graig Graziosi
Friday 03 December 2021 23:34

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A 19-year-old man has been arrested and charged with cyberstalking and trying to extort Florida state Senator Lauren Book after he threatened to send stolen and doctored photos of her to Fox News.

Ms Book reported the harassment to police earlier this year, claiming a cyberstalker had sent her two photos of her exposed breasts that she "had taken of herself and only shared with a close friend," according to The Miami Herald.

The accused man, Jeremy Kamperveen, also created doctored, sexually explicit photos of the Democratic politician. Ms Book is a survivor of sexual abuse.

Police allege that Mr Kemperveen demanded both $5,000 in gift cards and sexual acts from Ms Book in exchange for not sending the photos to the conservative-leaning news outlet.

According to police records, Mr Kemperveen said he would "leak the photos to Fox and her career would be over."

Democratic Florida state Senator Lauren Book

Mr Kemperveen was arrested on Wednesday, 17 November, at a Starbucks.

Ms Book mostly kept a low profile during the investigation. After news of the arrest became public and it became apparent the scheme involved Ms Book, the lawmaker released a statement recognising the extortion attempt.

“Three weeks ago, I became the victim of ongoing cyber threats, sexual harassment and extortion,’’ the statement read. “I immediately notified law enforcement and began working closely with them to track those responsible for sending threatening and disturbing images and messages to my phone, including distorted, fake and stolen images created in an effort to intimidate, threaten, and extort me.”

Investigators managed to catch Mr Kemperveen by assuming Ms Book's identity on social media. They began communicating with Mr Kemperveen and pretended to go along with his alleged plot. The undercover agent asked what he wanted in return for her cooperation.

“I am here because you turn me on. If you wish to pay money instead, then I can take that deal," he allegedly said. "I truly was only here for pictures and videos so I did not think about a reasonable cash reward. It would not be a small amount so take your choice.”

According to the police report, the undercover agent asked "when will it end?" to which the man allegedly replied "It will end once the money gets sent over."

He then allegedly agreed to "wipe all the photos and videos and block the number" for the gift cards, telling the agent to "call it a Christmas gift."

When the agent tried to negotiate down the amount, Mr Kemperveen allegedly responded that he needed "convincing," saying "How about 3 and [oral sex]."

The agent then offered $4,000 and a face-to-face meeting where he would delete the images in front of her. The meeting was arranged at the Starbucks where Mr Kamperveen was then arrested.

Records show Mr Kamperveen is registered as a Democrat and does not have a criminal record. He was released on a $60,000 bond and has been ordered to have no contact with the victim and is prohibited from accessing the internet.

“My family and I are most grateful to law enforcement for their swift action resulting in the apprehension of one suspect,’’ Ms Book said in her statement. “However, the investigation is active and ongoing to ensure that other individuals that could be behind these serious criminal acts that are targeting me are apprehended and brought to justice."

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