PHOENIX— Jarre Edward Bjelic (D.O.B. 09-12-1994) was sentenced today to 4.5 years in the Department of Corrections after pleading guilty to three counts of Theft by Extortion and one count of Attempted Fraud Schemes.
“Today’s sentencing cannot fix the damage this predator has inflicted on almost a dozen young girls whom he preyed on for his own ego and selfish desires, however it will protect our community from further harm while he is forced to think about his harmful actions,” said Maricopa County Attorney Chief Deputy Rachel Mitchell.
This case highlights a 21st century issue and serves as example of both the dangers presented by social media and MCAO’s commitment to combating cyber crime and online predators. It is this type of crime that led to new legislation Chief Deputy Mitchell helped draft in 2018, leading to a Sexual Extortion law, ARS 13-1428.
In November of 2014, police were contacted by a concerned parent after finding their 15-year-old daughter was being bullied online. Investigators learned that two years prior when the victim was only 13-years old she had been contacted by the defendant, who was fully aware of her age, and he convinced her to send nude photographs of herself to him. He then reached back out to the victim demanding more nude images of her threatening that if she did not send the images he would send the previous photographs to her school and put them on social media. When the victim refused he created a social media account with her name and used one of the images as the profile picture with a link indicating the other images could be found on a pornography website. The victim asked the defendant to remove the images and he refused leading her to involve her parent who then went to police.
While investigating the actions of the defendant, detectives found ten more victims who had been threatened by the defendant if they did not provide nude photographs or engage in sex acts with the defendant. Several of the victims told investigators that the defendant claimed to be a representative of a modeling agency and requested nude images of girls despite explicit knowledge of their age, usually 14 or 15 years old. He would also send a contract to the victims demanding in some cases 10 nude images a day of them. If the victims did not meet all of the defendant’s demands he would impose fines of $65 a day. He demanded one victim’s credit card number to charge the fines and also told victims he would waive the fees in exchange for sex. One victim reported that the defendant threatened to send law enforcement to her home because she refused to sign a contract.
Victims reported that once they sent nude images to the defendant he demanded more and if they did not comply he would create fake social media accounts with the nude images and threatened to also share them on pornographic websites. The defendant also threatened many times to visit a victim’s school to share the images.