NY man stationed in Belle Chasse sentenced for sexual victimization of childdren
Published 6:39 am Friday, February 10, 2023
NEW ORLEANS – U.S. Attorney Duane A. Evans announced that BIAGIO WILLIAM AMBROSINO, age 20, originally from Queens, NY, who was an enlisted sailor stationed in Belle Chasse, Louisiana, was sentenced on February 7, 2023 by United States District Judge Wendy B. Vitter to 360 months as to Count 1, 240 months as to Count 3, with 100 months to be served consecutively, for a total of 460 months in prison, supervised release for a term of Life, a $200 mandatory special assessment fee, and registration as a sex offender.
The Court also scheduled a hearing to determine the amount of restitution AMBROSINO will owe to the victims for May 2, 2023, at 12:00pm. AMBROSINO previously pleaded guilty to one count of producing images and videos depicting the sexual exploitation of children, in violation of Title 18, United States Code, Section 2251(a) (Count 1) and transmitting interstate threats for the purpose of extorting a thing of value, in violation of Title 18, United States Code, Section 875(b) (Count 2).
According to court documents, the charges stem from AMBROSINO’S implementation of an exploitative and extortionate scheme to convince individuals to send him sexually explicit content between August 2020 and January 2022. AMBROSINO utilized several different strategies depending on victims’ ages, cognitive ability, level of compliance, and whether he previously knew them. For individuals he knew, AMBROSINO would, anonymously, either prey on their friendship or use information he already had about the individuals and their families to obtain sexually explicit depictions from them. For individuals he did not already know, AMBROSINO would utilize other measures. For example, AMBROSINO would contact some minors via social media direct message, purport to be a social media mogul, and inquire whether the minor wanted “to be Instagram famous.” He would then request a sexually suggestive or sexually explicit photograph to prove that the minor was serious about being famous or receiving a gift. Alternatively, AMBROSINO would offer items of value to minors, including a camera, a lighting system, sponsorship, or stuffed animals as enticements to take and send him sexually explicit pictures and videos or to engage in sexually explicit conduct while on a video chat with him. When victims expressed reluctance to provide him sexually explicit depictions or to continue doing so, AMBROSINO would extort them by threatening reputational harm or physical violence. Once AMBROSINO successfully obtained sexually explicit content from a victim, he continued to demand increasingly explicit, invasive, and humiliating content from his victims. Thereafter, AMBROSINO transmitted some of the sexually explicit depictions he obtained to other individuals in exchange for the identities of other, future potential victims.
AMBROSINO victimized at least eleven people, including nine minors ranging in age from ten to seventeen years old, one of whom had a diagnosed developmental cognitive disability and a speech disability. The identified victims were residents of eight different states and the country of Australia.
This case was brought as part of Project Safe Childhood, a nationwide initiative to combat the growing epidemic of child sexual exploitation and abuse launched in May 2006 by the Department of Justice. Led by United States Attorneys’ Offices and the Criminal Division’s Child Exploitation and Obscenity Section (CEOS), Project Safe Childhood marshals federal, state and local resources to better locate, apprehend and prosecute individuals who exploit children via the Internet, as well as to identify and rescue victims. For more information about Project Safe Childhood, please visit www.projectsafechildhood.gov.
U.S. Attorney Evans praised the work of the Naval Criminal Investigative Service (NCIS) in investigating this matter, with assistance from the New York Police Department. U.S. Attorney Evans also commended the efforts of Brandi Calagna, Victim-Witness Coordinator, and Melissa Meunier, Victim-Witness Specialist, in this matter. Assistant United States Attorney Jordan Ginsberg was in charge of the prosecution.