DES MOINES, Iowa (WHO-TV) – An Ames man is facing a felony extortion charge for allegedly threatening to release nude photos of a Drake University student if she did not provide more explicit photos – and police say she isn’t his only victim.
Nineteen-year-old Perkell Gully is charged with extortion, a Class D felony, in the case. He was arrested Monday and bonded out of the Polk County Jail the same day.
A criminal complaint in the case says in February of 2020 the victim, who was a student living on campus at Drake University, was chatting online with an unknown person and sent them nude photos of herself. That person began threatening her in March that those photos would be released on social media if she did not send more images.
Because of COVID-19 and the closure of Drake’s campus, the victim reported the threats to the police department in her out of state hometown. Investigators were able to determine the threats happened while the victim was still in Des Moines and the suspect likely lived in Ames, so the Des Moines Police Department began investigating.
The complaint says social media records recovered in the case show approximately 150 women were targeted during a short period of time in the Fall of 2020. At least 10 other victims of extortion were also discovered during the investigation.
Gully was identified as the suspect using social media records, IP address information, phone records, and witness statements.
During an interview with investigators on February 22nd, Gully admitted he had been reaching out to females with the goal of obtaining pornographic images. He admitted he used those photos as blackmail to receive more images but said he never actually released any of the photos he threatened to post.
In the complaint, police say Gully claimed to have an addiction to pornographic material and doesn’t know how many women he has targeted but said he had been doing it for an extended amount of time.
According to online court records, there are currently no other similar charges against Gully in Iowa.
Gully’s next scheduled court date is March 3rd.