2020 | Police & Fire

Germantown man accused of trying to extort six women he met on social media under alias

Police said he threatened to release explicit images if they did not have sex with him

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A Germantown man is accused of obtaining explicit images of six women he met on social media, then threatening to release them if they did not have sex with him.

Michael Brendan Cooper, 22, tried to coerce the females to “engage in sexual acts with him” by threatening to distribute photos and videos of the victims to their families, friends and co-workers, Montgomery County police said.

Police wrote in a press release Thursday evening that Cooper met the victims online while using the screen names of “Rebecca Lattimore,” “beccalattimore” and “rebeccalostsc” on different social media platforms. The women later gave Cooper “sexual” photos and videos of themselves, police said.

In each case, Cooper eventually admitted to the victims that he was a man whose first name was Michael, police said in the press release. Cooper harassed the victims on social media if they tried to block him, and texted them using disguised phone numbers, police said.

Sgt. Rebecca Innocenti, a police spokeswoman, told Bethesda Beat on Friday that police started investigating Cooper on June 24.

On July 13, police arrested Cooper and charged him with crimes related to four of the women, she said. He was released that day from commitment at the district court commissioner’s discretion, she said.

Over the next four days, Innocenti said, police learned of a fifth victim. On July 17, Cooper was charged with a district court summons, but not arrested.

Nine days later, Innocenti said, police learned of a sixth victim.

“In this case, [detectives] continued locating victims after they charged him,” Innocenti said.

Police wrote in the press release that on July 26, the sixth woman agreed to meet with Cooper and “engage in sexual acts” if he deleted nude photos of her. When they met, police said, Cooper threatened the victim with a knife.

Police said the woman refused to have sex with Cooper, and Cooper tried to flee. The victim’s boyfriend, who had come with her to the area, “subdued” Cooper until police got there and arrested him.

Cooper was then charged with crimes related to his actions toward the sixth victim.

He is being held without bond. He is facing six counts of attempting to cause another person to engage in sexual activity, one count of distributing intimate images, three counts of harassment and one count of carrying a dangerous concealed weapon.

Cooper has district court appearances scheduled for Aug. 3, Aug. 31 and Sept. 24, according to state court records. Attorney information was not listed on Friday.

Dan Schere can be reached at daniel.schere@bethesdamagazeine.com