AP

Man admits seeking to have his child porn victim killed

Feb 3, 2023, 12:10 AM | Updated: 2:22 pm

CAMDEN, N.J. (AP) — A New Jersey man who exchanged sexually explicit videos and images with a 13-year-old New York girl has admitted paying $20,000 in bitcoin to have the child victim murdered before eventually calling it off.

John Michael Musbach, 31, of Haddonfield, pleaded guilty Thursday to using interstate commerce facilities in the commission of a murder-for-hire plot, according to federal prosecutors. He now faces up to 10 years in prison when he’s sentenced June 13.

Musbach began communicating online with the victim in the summer of 2015. Musbach eventually began using those chats to request and receive sexually explicit videos and photographs of the girl and to send her similar videos and images of himself, but the girl’s parents discovered the nature of the chats and notified local law enforcement officers in New York state, where they lived.

He was arrested on child pornography charges in March 2016 and eventually pleaded guilty to child endangerment in October 2017. He received a two-year suspended prison sentence and was placed on lifetime parole.

In May 2016, Musbach started communicating with the administrator of a murder-for-hire site on the dark web, while his criminal case was pending, officials have said. After asking if the girl was too young to target and being told the age wasn’t a problem, prosecutors said Musbach paid approximately $20,000 in bitcoin for the hit.

When pressed for an additional $5,000 to secure the hit, Musbach eventually sought to cancel and asked for a refund of his $20,000. The website’s administrator then revealed that the site was a scam and threatened to reveal Musbach’s information to law enforcement.

Federal prosecutors didn’t specify Thursday how the plot was uncovered. But during his indictment in 2020, prosecutors said an informant gave the Department of Homeland Security messages between Musbach and the fake website for contract killings.

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