Grants Pass man accused of identity theft, child exploitation

GRANTS PASS, Ore. – A man from Southern Oregon is accused of stealing a teenager’s online identity to sexually victimize minors.

The Jackson County Sheriff’s Office said an investigation began when the Southern Oregon Child Exploitation Team got a report from Wisconsin about a child who was sexually exploited through Facebook.

Eventually, investigators determined there were additional victims in Oregon and Louisiana.

JCSO said the suspect, 28-year-old Brandon Cody Gale of Grants Pass, has been charged with one count of sexual exploitation and attempted sexual exploitation of children as well as one count of coercion and enticement of a minor.

Gale allegedly found his victims by posing as a teenage boy on social media sites including Facebook and Snapchat. He’d then coerce his underage victims into performing sexual acts, JCSO said.

He reportedly stole a teenage male’s online photo to interact with his victims. JCSO noted that the teenage male in the photographs is a victim of identity theft and volunteered to release his images in the hopes it will identify other potential victims.

Gale allegedly used the online account names of John Gunther, Marley Nukka,  Antioch Baby, and Tony Montana.

Anyone with further information is asked to call police.

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