The family of the 19-year-old man suspected of being behind the "sextortion" of Miss Teen USA and other women apologized through an attorney for "the consequences of his behavior."
Temecula college freshman Jared James Abrahams, 19, was taken into custody on federal charges that he "sextorted" newly crowned Miss Teen USA Cassidy Wolf and other young women around the world by hijacking their computer's webcams to capture naked images.
He then used them to blackmail females as young as 16 to provide even more images, videos or live chat sessions, according to a criminal complaint. If they refused, the complaint states, he would post their images on the Internet to humiliate them.
Abrahams' attorney, Alan Eisner, told reporters outside on Thursday that “the family wants to apologize for the consequences of his behavior to the families that were affected.”
Wolf, who sparked the investigation after alerting authorities to the scheme, took to national TV on Thursday, telling Savannah Guthrie on the "Today" show that "it makes me feel really good to know I helped [other victims] out as well."
She also recalled attending the same high school as Abrahams.
Wolf said she and her friends recognized Abrahams' name but never conversed with him when they went to school together.
"He was young, my age," Wolf told Guthrie. "I just think it’s sad he chose to do this and kind of put himself in this big dilemma."
When FBI agents first raided his Temecula home in June, seizing computers and hardware, cellphones and hacking software, according to the criminal complaint, they found evidence that he had commandeered 30 to 40 computers and gathered images of victims in Southern California, Maryland, Ireland, Canada, Russia and Moldova.
Abrahams has been released on $50,000 bond, the FBI said. He must wear a GPS tracker and is prohibited from using a computer for anything other than academic work.