FREMONT (CBS SF) – A Fremont man has been arrested for allegedly trying to extort money from a couple he videotaped having sex at the apartment that he shared with them, police said Monday.
A couple in their 20s moved in March into a two-bedroom apartment in the 3500 block of Pennsylvania Avenue in Fremont and shared it with several other people, including the suspect, 33-year-old Maninder Adama, police said.
The couple moved out of the area at the end of April but in mid-June they began receiving messages from an unknown email address from a sender who claimed to be in possession of a video that depicted them engaging in sexual acts together, according to police.
The suspect emailed the victims multiple times and included screenshots of video as proof. Based on the positioning of the video and the room’s setup, the victims believed they must have been recorded while living in the shared apartment on Pennsylvania Avenue, police said.
Earlier this month, the suspect began to threaten and extort the victims by saying he would put the video on Facebook and “tag” them if they didn’t pay him $2,000, according to police.
The suspect later raised the price to $5,000 and threatened that if he was not paid the amount, via a Google Wallet transaction, he would post the video on multiple websites and also send it to their family members, police said.
The victims then reported the matter to Fremont police. Detectives who analyzed the metadata embedded in the photos sent by the suspect determined the photos were coming from Adama’s Pennsylvania Avenue address, according to police.
Detectives served a search warrant on an apartment on Pennsylvania Avenue on Thursday and Adama was located and arrested. Several laptops and electronic devices outfitted with the ability to record audio and video were seized, police said.
Detectives located a video of the victims inside one of the laptops, and inside Adama’s cellphone they found the email account they believe he used in the extortion, according to police.
Adama was booked at the Fremont Jail on suspicion of multiple counts of felony extortion and multiple misdemeanor counts related to invasion of privacy for the alleged recording of the victims. He was scheduled to be arraigned Monday afternoon at the Fremont Hall of Justice, police said.
Fremont police said detectives are continuing to investigate the case to determine if there are additional victims and ask anyone with information about Adama to call Detective Michael Gebhardt at (510) 790-6954.
Police said they want to remind potential renters that it’s important to be careful when renting a room from someone they don’t know and to always be aware of their surroundings and personal safety.
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