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A St. Clair Shores man has been sentenced to 26 years in prison for luring young girls to produce child pornography, federal officials announced Friday.

Prosecutors allege John Vincent-Hyung Manzitti targeted youths between 8 and 12 years old starting in 2016 on the website Musical.ly and Kik messaging service. 

The 38-year-old allegedly posed as a teenage boy and played pre-recorded videos to convince the victims he was their age then asked them "to send him sexually explicit videos and images and gave them directions about how to create them," authorities said in a statement.

"He blackmailed multiple girls when they refused to send him additional sexually explicit videos or images, threatening to distribute the videos and images he already had of them to others if they did not comply and telling at least one minor that he knew where she lived," the statement reads. 

A forensic examination uncovered more than 5,111 images and 2,490 videos of child pornography on Manzitti’s phone, and investigators have 11 identified victims, according to the release.

“Sadly, this is yet another example of a sick man abusing and exploiting young girls over the internet,” U.S. Matthew Schneider said.

Manzitti pleaded guilty May 2 to charges of producing and distributing child porn. U.S. District Court Judge Stephen J. Murphy sentenced him Thursday.

“Today’s sentencing reflects the consequences that await those who participate in the disturbing and growing trend known as online sextortion,” said Homeland Security Investigation Special Agent in Charge Steve Francis. “This investigation is also a stark reminder that we must constantly examine and reinforce steps taken to protect our young people from online predators.”

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