A Sierra Vista man who worked as a civilian for the Army was sentenced to 25 years in prison Monday for child pornography and other sex crimes.
Ian Joseph Ritzer, 34, also will face a lifetime of supervised release once out of prison.
Ritzer previously pleaded guilty in federal court to two counts of production of child pornography, extortion, and attempted enticement of a minor. Ritzer was sentenced by U.S. District Judge Rosemary Marquez, according to a news release.
Ritzer’s term of lifetime supervised release will include stringent sex offender conditions, and he will be required to register as a sex offender.
When working for the Army, Ritzer used the internet to meet young girls on social media and other chat-room websites, states the release. He then communicated with numerous girls through email and text messages.
Authorities said Ritzer communicated with a 13-year-old girl in Illinois and a 14-year-old girl in Michigan who he traveled to meet. He manipulated the girls by pretending to be a minor, and engaged in a relationship with them. He then demanded they send him sexually explicit photos.
If the girls did not comply, he then threatened to post their images, commit suicide and other forms of retribution, said officials. Authorities suspect Ritzer had more than 100 victims, according to the release.
Ritzer was investigated as part of Project Safe Childhood, a 2006 federal nationwide initiative to combat the growing epidemic of child sexual exploitation and abuse.
Contact reporter Carmen Duarte at firstname.lastname@example.org or 573-4104. On Twitter: @cduartestar