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Hearing on Adult Charges in Chehalis ‘Sextortion’ Case Delayed

By The Chronicle

A hearing to decide whether a Chehalis teen will face charges as an adult for allegedly collecting explicit photos of classmates and others in the community before extorting them has been rescheduled again.

The hearing was most recently scheduled for 9 a.m. Wednesday in Lewis County Superior Court.

 Hundreds of Illicit Photos, Dozens of Victims Lead to FBI Investigation of Chehalis Teen

Lewis County Prosecutor Jonathan Meyer said the prosecution and defense are waiting for more information.

The hearing has been rescheduled to 2:30 p.m. on Feb. 14.

The Chehalis boy, then 16, made his first appearance on Oct. 10 in Lewis County Juvenile Court in the case, which includes charges of first-degree dealing in depictions of minors engaged in sexually explicit conduct, first-degree possession of such images and second-degree extortion.

 Judge to Decide if Teen in Chehalis ‘Sextortion’ Case Will Be Charged as Adult

The Chronicle does not name suspects charged in Lewis County Juvenile Court.

The prosecutor’s office has expressed an interest to charge the teen as an adult, which requires a hearing.

That hearing has been rescheduled several times since October.

The suspect has no previous criminal history. He has been held since Oct. 10 in the Lewis County Juvenile Detention center, but on Wednesday was granted conditions of release allowing him to be out of custody.

The Chehalis School District first became aware of the allegations that a male student was posing as a female to solicit explicit photos more than a year ago. Local police and the Federal Bureau of Investigation responded.

 Hearing on Adult Charges for Chehalis ‘Sextortion’ Suspect Delayed to 2018

The suspect is accused of creating multiple social media accounts to target fellow students and other victims.

Investigators have found hundreds of explicit photos in the teen’s possession and have identified dozens of possible victims. Meyer estimated late last year that the suspect could face about 40 charges.

 FBI Says Chehalis District Was Warned of ‘Concern’ for Students in ‘Sextortion’ Case