A Philadelphia woman has been sentenced to 35 years in prison for manipulating a teenage boy into creating child pornography.
The U.S. Attorney's Office for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania announced the sentencing Monday, more than a year after 45-year-old Linda Paolini pleaded guilty to manufacturing child pornography and online enticement of a minor. Authorities say the woman had communicated with the 16-year-old Florida boy via Instagram, where she misrepresented herself as a 16-year-old girl by using provocative pictures of her own daughter.
Investigators alleged Paolini had coerced the teen into sending videos of him masturbating, and even faked a suicide attempt to get the boy to try to kill himself "in solidarity with her." NBC Philadelphia reports the mother and child had exchanged more than 50,000 messages over several months. Paolini also admitted to having similar communications with at least two other underage boys.
"This defendant’s criminal conduct was so heinous and cold-hearted that it almost defies description," First Assistant U.S. Attorney Jennifer Arbittier Williams said. "She maliciously manipulated a child into making and sending her pornography of himself. But that was not enough for this defendant. She then manipulated the vulnerable child into attempting suicide. As a result of this prosecution and today’s sentencing, she will be behind bars for decades and will no longer pose a danger to other children."
Paolini was also ordered to pay more than $15,000 in fines and was sentenced to a lifetime of supervised release.