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Former American River College Student Sentenced in Sextortion Case

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SACRAMENTO — A former American River college student was sentenced to four years, eight months in prison.

Christian Hirtzel pleaded no contest to felony charges of extortion, accessing a computer to extort, contacting a minor to commit a sex offense and possession of child pornography.

Hirtzel will also be required to register as a sex offender for life.

Hirtzel extorted and attempted to extort at least nine female victims over several years. He obtained compromising photos of the victims, primarily by hacking into the victims’ email and social media accounts, according to the Sacramento County District Attorney’s Office.

According to the DA’s office, Hirtzel then anonymously messaged the victims, including at least two who were minors, and threatened to distribute the images if they failed to send more nude photos or videos of themselves.

If the victims complied, he used the new photos as leverage to make further demands. Several times, he posted images of the victims on social media sites regardless of whether they had complied.

When asked by one victim why he was doing this, he told the victim he wanted to feel powerful and feel like he had won, the DA’s office said.