A Midwood man could face more than 15 years behind bars for soliciting sexually explicit content from minors he met online.
Federal prosecutors and FBI agents in Brooklyn unsealed a criminal complaint Tuesday against 49-year-old Steven LaBianca, of East Third Street in Midwood, alleging he solicited reams of sexually explicit photos and videos from girls as young as 13.
“The behavior in which we allege Mr. Labianca engaged — soliciting and receiving sexually-explicit images and videos from children as young as 13 — is depraved, and it underscores the dangers children may face online,” said FBI Assistant Director-in-Charge Michael Driscoll in a statement. “The action we’ve taken today will ensure Mr. Labianca faces justice for his crimes, but our investigation continues.”
LaBianca allegedly communicated with scores of teenage girls online between 2017 and 2021, under the usernames “Original Geek” on Skype and “haulsropefasterr” on Instagram, according to a sworn deposition by FBI Special Agent Michael Buscemi, who investigated the case. LaBianca initiated conversations with girls from all over the world he met online, breaking the ice by discussing, in at least one case, Harry Potter and the girl’s high school schedule, apparently with the knowledge that she was underage.
Conversations gradually escalated to become extremely sexually explicit, with LaBianca instructing his victims to supply him with nude photographs and videos of them masturbating. LaBianca allegedly gave highly specific instructions stipulating the poses he wanted of his victims, and on some occasions even suggested bringing other girls into the fold for a “three-way.”
One of the victims, a resident of Cyprus, contacted that country’s authorities, who then contacted the FBI. That girl was in communication with LaBianca between 2017 and 2019, between the ages of 15 and 17; she provided communications with and pictures of the perp to the FBI, who visited his Midwood home and confirmed he was Original Geek.
LaBianca was arrested Tuesday morning and is facing pre-trial arraignment before a federal judge. He faces a mandatory minimum of 15 years in the big house. US Attorney Breon Peace said the case underscored the importance of ensuring children’s safety on the Internet.
“As alleged, Labianca preyed on minors online, developing a relationship with them first, then exploiting them by enticing the victims to take sexually explicit photos and videos of themselves for the defendant’s own personal gratification,” Peace said in a statement. “Today’s arrest underscores the importance of monitoring our children’s Internet activity and teaching them to say ‘no’ to inappropriate requests in the real world and online. Fighting child exploitation is a priority for the Department of Justice and this Office will continue to make every effort to ensure that those who contribute to the victimization of children will be brought to justice.”